Starbucks to extend national living wage rate to all staff and offer London premium

Starbucks living wage-2016

All employees working in Starbucks UK-owned stores are to be paid at least the national living wage rate of £7.20, including apprentices and those aged under 25. The coffee chain’s all-employee approach to the new rate of pay will benefit more than 4,500 staff members.

From April 2016, baristas’ base pay will increase from £6.77 an hour to £7.20. In line with the increase in barista pay, Starbucks UK will also boost the hourly wage for supervisors from £8.20 to £8.72.

Lisa Robbins, director of partner resources UK at Starbucks, says: “We made the foundational decision that we didn’t want to differentiate on age, and we also wanted to make sure that we paid the right rate for the right jobs. So for those [employees] that are running shifts, we believe that they should continue to have the gap [in pay] that is there now in the future, which is why we decided to make that increase as well, to continue that recognition.”

The organisation informed staff about the change in pay rates through all-employee communications, supported by direct conversations between store managers and staff. When communicating about pay, the organisation also details the wider benefits and rewards available, such as training opportunities and its employee share ownership programme, Bean Stock.

Starbucks UK is also taking steps to help its staff address the rising cost in living. From April, the organisation will pay a premium to employees working in its London stores in recognition of the higher cost of living in the capital. It is also launching a financial awareness initiative and a rental deposit scheme, Home Sweet Loan. The rental deposit programme aims to offer a supportive, responsible route to housing by providing employees with an interest-free loan to put towards their first rental deposit, which is then repaid through their salary over 12 months.

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Robbins says: “Socially we know that housing is a really hot topic and a real challenge, particularly for young people. We regularly listen to our [employees] and ask them what challenges they are facing. Last year we heard two things: the first was about the ability to get onto the housing ladder in an affordable way, and the other was about how Starbucks can help people develop to become more confident in themselves.”

In response to this feedback, Starbucks is expanding its apprenticeship programme and introducing core skills training to help staff develop their English language and maths skills.