Starbucks to extend national living wage to all workers

LONDON, UK - FEBRUARY 3, 2011: Close up of Starbucks cafe logo in central London

Thousands of staff at Starbucks are to receive a pay rise after the high street chain announced it is to extend the national living wage to all its workers regardless of age.

The US-owned coffee giant will also offer loans for tenancy deposits alongside the wage rise to help its employees, particularly those under the age of 25, "tackle the cost of living".

Starbucks said about 7,000 employees who have worked in company-owned stores for more than a year will be eligible for the Home Sweet Loan scheme, originally developed by the homelessness charity Shelter.

The company will lend workers a maximum of one month's wages to be repaid interest-free over 12 months to help pay the rental deposit when moving home, with each application considered on a case-by-case basis.

Meanwhile, all employees including apprentices and more than 4,500 staff who are under 25 will receive the national living wage of £7.20 an hour from April next year.

All baristas, regardless of age, will earn £7.20 an hour, up from the current base of £6.77, while supervisors will earn £8.72, up from £8.20.

It will also pay a premium, as yet undisclosed, to those working in the capital.

The national living wage announced by Chancellor George Osborne in his summer budget will see all workers aged 25 and over paid £7.20 an hour from next April, rising to £9 from 2020.

Those aged under 25 are subject to the national minimum wage, which from October 1 will pay those 21 and over £6.70 an hour, 18 to 20s £5.30 and under 18s £3.87, while apprentices must be paid a minimum of £3.30.

Starbucks said more than 50% of its staff were under the age of 25.

The company, which has come under fire for the amount of tax it pays and faced a related customer boycott, declined to say how much the initiatives would cost but confirmed there would be no price increases as a result.

Kris Engskov, Starbucks' president of Europe, the Middle East and Asia, said: "We are really proud to be the first private company to implement Shelter's innovative Tenancy Deposit Loan Scheme.

"We know the cost of living is a key concern for many, with the average rental deposit in England now £1,226. And with over half of our partners being under 25 years old, that rent affordability especially is an issue that affects them.

"These initiatives are two of the ways we are able to support the great people that work with us."

Shelter chief executive Campbell Robb said: "There are now 11 million private renters in England, and as housing costs keep rising, more and more people are struggling to scrape together the deposit needed to rent a home.

"After successfully launching the scheme with our own staff in 2013, it's great to see that Starbucks are following suit and helping their staff to move home without worrying about how they'll cover the cost."

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