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40p per hour rise in living wage

Monday, November 2, 2015

GMB Welcome Unilever Signing Up To Living Wage Which Increases By 40p To £8.25 Per Hour In Rest Of UK And By 25p To £9.40 Per Hour In London

That a living wage of £9.40 per hour for London is already 40p higher than the £9 George Osborne is planning for 2020 shows what a sham Osborne’s living wage policy is says GMB

GMB commented on the announcement that a living wage should be raised by 40p per hour from £7.85 per hour to £8.25 across the UK and by 25p per hour from £9.15p to £9.40 in London. See notes to editors for copy of the story on Press Association.

GMB, the union for Unilever workers, also welcome the announcement that Unilever has achieved accreditation as a Living Wage Foundation employer covering its entire UK workforce. See notes to editors for copy of Unilever press release dated 2nd November.

Paul Kenny, GMB General Secretary commenting on increases in living wage said "That a living wage of £9.40 per hour for London, unveiled by Mayor Boris Johnson, is already 40p higher than the £9 George Osborne is planning for 2020 shows what a sham Osborne’s living wage policy is.

George Osborne is using this sham policy as a cover to take away tax credits from the lowest paid workers in the country. How did he think that he could get away with taking £30 per week off these working families? ".

Stuart Fegan, National Officer for GMB members in Unilever, said "This announcement comes after a coordinated campaign by our stewards and members of lobbying senior management within Unilever on adopting a living wage (as set by the Living Wage Foundation).

GMB warmly welcome the announcement that Unilever have gained accreditation with the Living Wage Foundation which will mainly benefit not the directly employed workforce but those workers that work for Unilever through its supply chain.

GMB supports the work of Living Wage Foundation to raise wages. We will continue to make strong representation to Unilever and all other multi international employers to ensure the just treatment of members working for employers in supply chains.

GMB will continue to press for a living wage to be set at £10 per hour as agreed at GMB Congress. Members make clear in their experience you need at least £10 an hour and a full working week to have a decent life free from benefits and tax credits. Less than £10 an hour means just existing not living. It means a life of isolation, unable to socialise. It means a life of constant anxiety over paying bills and of borrowing from friends, family and pay day loan sharks just to make ends meet."


Contact Stuart Fegan 020 7391 6762 m: 07912 890434 or Contact Martin Smith 07974 251 823 or Kamaljeet Jandu 07956 237178 or or GMB press office 07921 289880 or 07974 251 823

Notes to editors:

1 story of Press Association dated 2nd November:

Living Wage in London rising to £9.40 an hour.

By Alan Jones, Press Association Industrial Correspondent

The Living Wage in London is going up to £9.40 an hour, well above the rate being brought in by the Government next year. The capital's Mayor, Boris Johnson, announced a 25p rise to the voluntary rate in London and urged employers to pay it.

The National Living Wage outside London is increasing by 40p an hour to £8.25. Both figures are well above the national minimum wage of £6.70 an hour and the planned new National Living Wage of £7.20 for adults from next April. end

Living Wage or National Living Wage - the difference explained -  By Damian Clarkson, Press Association Finance Editor

The Living Wage is being increased by up to 40p an hour today, it was announced today. However, this should not be confused with the National Living Wage, which will be phased in by the Government from next year and effectively replaces the current Minimum Wage. This article explains the difference between the three different wage initiatives.

:: National Living Wage

This was announced by the Chancellor in the summer Budget. From April 2016, workers aged 25 and over must be paid at least £7.20 an hour. This compulsory threshold will gradually increase to £9 an hour by 2020, and will apply to both part-time and full-time workers.

:: Living Wage

This was set up by the Living Wage Foundation, which it said is calculated according to the cost of living in the UK and updated annually. It is not compulsory for employers to pay it, hence it is often referred to as the voluntary Living Wage to avoid confusion with the National Living Wage. Today it was increased by 40p to £8.25 an hour outside of London and £9.40 an hour in the capital - notably more than the Government's impending targets.

:: National Minimum Wage

This is currently set at £6.70 an hour. It will continue to apply to all workers aged 21 to 24, who will not benefit from the increases to the National Living Wage next year. For workers aged 18 to 20, the National Minimum Wage is set at £5.30 an hour, while for under-18s it is £3.87 and for apprentices £3.30.

2 Copy of Unilever press release dated 2nd November 2015

Unilever Signs Up to Living Wage Foundation:

Unilever today announced it has achieved accreditation as a Living Wage Foundation employer covering its entire UK workforce. Tim Munden, HR Director, Unilever UK said: “As a company committed to making sustainable living commonplace we believe it is right to raise the floor on wages. That is why we have been committed to paying our UK employees at least a living wage for some time. We are therefore delighted to take this next natural step in gaining accreditation from the Living Wage Foundation; it underlines our commitment to a living wage approach across our supply chain and it will ensure that hundreds more people working with us will be paid the Living Wage by the end of next year.”

In becoming accredited, Unilever UK will continue to work with key suppliers to encourage a Living Wage approach and ensure that regular contractors on our sites move to paying a Living Wage through the next 18 months. A small number of employees as a result of acquisitions, will also benefit immediately from this announcement.

Sarah Vero, director, Living Wage Foundation said: “We are delighted that Unilever is now an accredited Living Wage employer. It is a huge milestone to have one of the UK’s most successful and much-loved organisations join the Living Wage movement. Their accreditation means that virtually every home across the UK will now have in its cupboards and on the kitchen table, a product made by a Living Wage business. “Their accreditation means that more than a quarter of the FTSE 100 are now part of the Living Wage movement. They join 2,000 other responsible businesses that voluntarily pay the Living Wage rate that is based on the real cost of living in the UK. Increasingly consumers are recognising the mark, with over 85% of people reporting businesses that can, should pay the rate. We hope that many more businesses will follow their lead.”

Tim Munden adds: “It is in our DNA to be a responsible company. Our accreditation today to the Living Wage Foundation goes hand in hand with our award-winning wellbeing, family-friendly and agile working programmes.” Around five hundred people will see a direct benefit from this move. Unilever employs a total of around 7,500 in the UK.


Notes to editors

For more information please contact: Adam Fisher, UK & Ireland Media Relations Manager

T: 02 07822 5082


About Unilever:

Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Food, Home and Personal Care products with sales in over 190 countries and reaching 2 billion consumers a day. It has 172,000 employees and generated sales of €48.4 billion in 2014. Over half (57%) of the company’s footprint is in developing and emerging markets. Unilever has more than 400 brands found in homes around the world, including Persil, Dove, Knorr, Domestos, Hellmann’s, Lipton, Wall’s, PG Tips, Ben & Jerry’s, Marmite, Magnum and Lynx.

Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan (USLP) commits to:

  • Decoupling growth from environmental impact.
  • Helping more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being.
  • Enhancing the livelihoods of millions of people by 2020.

Unilever was ranked number one in its sector in the 2015 Dow Jones Sustainability Index. In the FTSE4Good Index, it achieved the highest environmental score of 5. It led the list of Global Corporate Sustainability Leaders in the 2015 GlobeScan/SustainAbility annual survey for the fifth year running, and in 2015 was ranked the most sustainable food and beverage company in Oxfam’s Behind the Brands Scorecard.

Unilever has been named in LinkedIn’s Top 3 most sought-after employers across all sectors. For more information about Unilever and its brands, please visit For more information on the USLP:


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