Insurance organisation Direct Line Group is to introduce a new minimum salary for its 11,000 UK employees from 1 April 2018, as well as award a £500 free share to certain staff members.
The new minimum salary will be set at £17,000 a year for employees contracted to work 35 hours a week and at £18,000 a year for staff contracted to work 37.5 hours a week. All new employees, excluding apprentices, will be paid at least the new minimum salary.
The new minimum salary is 6% higher than the voluntary living wage rate recommended by the Living Wage Foundation, which is currently set at £8.75 an hour for staff working in the UK and £10.20 an hour for employees based in London.
Currently, employees who work 35 hours a week earn a minimum salary of £15,925 a year and employees who work 37.5 hours a week earn at least £17,063 a year.
In addition, the organisation has today (Thursday 29 March) awarded a £500 free share award to all existing employees who were hired before 27 February to celebrate Direct Line Group’s fifth birthday.
Staff were originally awarded free shares when Direct Line Group became listed on the stock market, as well as at set times since to mark various organisational milestones and successes. The previous free share awards amounted to £250, £400 and a further £250. Employees who have received and retained these awards in addition to today’s free share award will now have a total holding of 446 shares, which could potentially be worth £2018.10 based on the closing share price as at 28 March 2018 and including dividends paid to date.
Simon Linares (pictured), HR director at Direct Line Group, said: “[Last year] was the fifth successive year we have delivered growth in the businesses. We could not do this without the hard work and dedication of our talented people.
“My objective this year was to ensure that as many [employees] as possible receive a meaningful pay increase, specifically targeted at those in lower paid roles. This is why we are introducing a new [organisation] wide minimum salary of either £17,000 or £18,000, depending on contracted hours, which delivers an average pay increase of around 5% to those people in our lowest paid front line roles and a minimum pay increase of £650 for everyone across the organisation.
“We are an organisation with a clear mission; to make insurance easier and better value for our customers. It is our people that make this happen and we want to continue to boost the rewards both to retain our brilliant people and attract the best talent to the business.”