Brewdog increases pay but moves away from paying real living wage

Brewdog pay riseCraft beer business Brewdog has announced that its lower-paid employees over the age of 23 will receive a pay rise to £11.44 per hour from £10.90.

Staff located outside London will receive a 4.95% rise in base pay, however, those working in London will not see an increase from their current rate of £11.95. This is just below the living wage rate as set by the Living Wage Foundation, which will increase to £12 an hour across the UK and £13.15 for those in the capital on 1 April. Brewdog was previously accredited as a living wage employer by the foundation.

According to the brewer, it could not implement the forthcoming increase on top of all the other benefits it offers its staff, but that staff working in London are paid 4.5% above the national living wage set by the government.

James Watt, chief executive officer of Brewdog, said: “Since March 2022, we have increased the wages of our UK bar teams by a huge 20.4%, which is well ahead of most industries and almost all of our competitors. It is important to note that nobody’s wages are going down and what we announced is actually a pay increase for most of our people. When you add up everything that we do for our people, the value of the package is even more generous than real living wage.

“We remain fully committed to investing in our people, putting together packages which are well ahead of our competitors. By having the additional payments linked to customer service and performance through profit share and our customer service incentives, we can invest in our people in a way that delivers great service and helps build a solid and profitable business that benefits all of our shareholders.”

The brewer, which does not use zero-hour contracts, offers employees a profit share scheme, through which it shared £350,000 with its bar teams in the first 10 months of 2023, and will increase to £500,000 when its fourth quarter is included. Through its customer service incentive, every employee working in a bar can earn an extra £1 per hour for the entire month by passing their mystery shopper review. It also offers sabbaticals, an employee ownership programme called Hop Stock, medical care and enhanced holiday pay.