UK bus operator First Bus is to become a living wage employer from 1 April 2024.
The accreditation will see its 1,300 employees across the UK, and workers employed through third party contractors, benefit from a pay rise to at least £12 per hour.
The living wage is a voluntary rate of pay and is calculated annually by the Living Wage Foundation based on actual living costs. Workers aged 18 and over can earn £12 per hour across the UK, whereas those in London earn £13.15. This is above the UK government’s national living wage, which is currently set at £10.42 for those aged 23 and over and will increase to £11.44 in April for those aged 21 and above.
First Bus made this decision as part of its aim to cement its position as an employer of choice in the sector and to put its employees at the heart of everything it does.
In addition, First Bus will raise its apprentices’ wages in line with the living wage over the next 18 months as part of its recognition of the value of a diverse and inclusive apprenticeship population.
Janette Bell, managing director at First Bus, said: “We are delighted to be working with the Living Wage Foundation and look forward to achieving our real living wage commitment. I am thrilled this will positively impact 1,300 of our colleagues with a pay rise from 1 April and that we are once again demonstrating to our people and the market that we care.
“Engaged employees encourage customers to travel more often. So, by treating our employees well, we are also helping to achieve our mission to get people out of their cars and onto the bus. We want First Bus to be a place where our people feel welcome, can be their true selves and succeed. It is vital that we do all we can to support our colleagues, and this is another important step in our transformation journey.”