Third of top companies paying living wage, as Diageo commits to higher rate

The firm employs around 5,000 workers in the UK

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A third of the UK's top companies are now paying the voluntary living wage, after drinks giant Diageo committed to paying the higher rate than the Government's figure.

The firm, which employs around 5,000 workers in the UK, said all staff and contractors will receive a minimum hourly wage of £8.45, and £9.75 in London.

The rates are higher than the Government's figure of £7.50 for over 25-year-olds.

Diageo, which produces drinks including Guinness and Johnnie Walker, is the 33rd company in the FTSE100 to accredit to the Living Wage Foundation, which sets the voluntary rate.

David Cutter, Diageo's president of global supply and procurement, said: "Creating shared value for our employees, shareholders and communities is at the heart of everything Diageo does as a business.

"We value all our employees, working both directly and indirectly at our sites across the UK.

"For this reason we are pleased to become a living wage employer and to support the Living Wage Foundation campaign in the UK."

Director of the Living Wage Foundation, Katherine Chapman, said: "It's great to see the UK's top businesses leading the way on fair pay.

"It's clear that successful brands value their employees and recognise the tangible business benefits of paying the real living wage.

"We welcome Diageo to the living wage movement and applaud them for voluntarily signing up to pay the real living wage, which is calculated annually to reflect the real costs of living.

"The living wage movement comprises 3,400 UK employers who choose to go further than the Government minimum to make sure all their staff earn enough to live on."