Nestlé first major manufacturer to become 'Living Wage' employer

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Food and drink maker Nestlé has become the first large manufacturer in the UK to receive accreditation as a Living Wage employer. The accreditation covers around 8,000 employees across Nestlé UK and its sister companies.

Living Wage Foundation director, Rhys Moore, said: "We are aware that Nestlé is going above and beyond the basic requirements of becoming an accredited employer, and is extending their commitment to graduate, internship and school leaver programmes. This is fantastic news, demonstrating that businesses who can, should do more wherever possible." Nestlé has been working on the initiative with trade unions Unite, GMB and USDAW. Len McCluskey, general secretary of Unite said: "We are delighted to have worked with Nestlé to secure a living wage for all staff directly and indirectly employed by the company. It was secured in the spirit of co-operation and a willingness to start to tackle poverty pay in a traditionally low paying sector. "With in-work poverty on the rise, many employers are simply ignoring their responsibility to pay staff a decent wage. They should take note from Nestlé's positive stance which shows that paying a living wage is not just good for communities but makes good business sense too." Paul Kenny, general secretary of the GMB Union, added: "It just shows what can be achieved when a decent employer works together with progressive unions. Over 2.5 million people who are paid the national minimum wage have to top up their pay with welfare benefits to put a roof over their heads and feed the family. It's ordinary tax payers subsidising bad employment practice and that has to stop." Staff employed directly by Nestlé UK are already paid the Living Wage. However, the company said it planned to work with contractors to ensure that their employees working across Nestlé sites were also paid the UK Living Wage by December 2017.