Santander UK has been accredited as a living wage employer.
The bank has committed to pay all 20,000 staff working in its branches, offices and banking centres the national living wage of £7.85 an hour, and those working in London, the London living wage of £8.80.
The living wage is an hourly rate set independently, updated annually and paid by employers on a voluntarily basis. It is calculated according to the basic cost of living using the Minimum Income Standard for the UK, and is significantly higher than the national minimum wage of £6.50.
Santander has agreed an implementation plan with the Living Wage Foundation, which will see all third-party contractors and suppliers paying their staff the living wage and ondon living wage by 2017, ultimately benefitting some 1,600 people.
This will be managed on an ongoing basis as and when contracts come up for renewal and covers cleaning, security, reception, catering and mailroom suppliers.
The first contract to move to Living Wage commenced on 1 March and covers cleaning staff for the bank’s retail and corporate banking sites.
Simon Lloyd, chief people officer and general counsel at Santander, said: “As one of the UK’s biggest organisations, we are concerned not only about our own employees, but also people working at Santander sites for our suppliers.
“Having moved all our direct employees to the national living wage in 2013 and subsequently the London living wage, we are delighted to extend this commitment to indirect employees.
“We look forward to working closely with The Living Wage Foundation to help further this initiative.”
Rhys Moore, director at the Living Wage Foundation, said: “We are delighted that Santander has extended its commitment to the living wage movement as an accredited living wage employer for both direct and indirect employees.
“With over 900 branches and business centres in key cities and towns, Santander’s accreditation means that the living wage is now becoming a reality on high streets across the country.”
Santander joins over 1,200 other organisations across the UK that also pay their staff the living wage.