Nestlé UK becomes the first major manufacturer signed up as the Principal Partner of the Living Wage Foundation

To Press Releases listGatwick,Nov 3, 2014

Nestlé UK has today announced it will become a Principal Partner of the Living Wage Foundation, as the first major manufacturer accredited as a Living Wage employer. This new role demonstrates the company’s commitment to the Foundation and will enable Nestlé to champion the benefits of the Living Wage to help encourage other employers to sign up to the scheme. 

The role of the Principal Partner is to provide strategic advice and support to the Living Wage Foundation, helping to guide the development of the Foundation as it grows.

This new status follows the announcement earlier this year that Nestlé is the first major manufacturer to receive accreditation as a Living Wage employer in the UK.

This accreditation covers approximately 8,000 employees across Nestlé UK and its sister companies, which include: Nestlé Nutrition, Nestlé Professional, Nestlé Waters, Nestlé Purina Petcare, Cereal Partners and Nespresso. As part of the Company’s ongoing commitment to the Nestlé Youth Employment Initiative the Living Wage also applies to the company’s graduate,  internship and Fast Start school leaver programmes.

All staff employed directly by Nestlé UK are already paid the Living Wage. The Company is now working closely with contractors to ensure that their employees working across Nestlé sites will also be paid the UK Living Wage by December 2017.

Nestle UK and Ireland becomes a Living Wage accredited employer
Nestlé UK&I Group HR Director, Matt Stripe (Image courtesy of Jonathan Pow - jonathanpow.com)

Nestlé worked in partnership with its trade union partners, Unite, GMB and USDAW on the journey towards accreditation, and we are pleased to continue to have their full backing and support as a Living Wage employer.

Nestlé UK & Ireland Group HR Director, Matt Stripe said:  “As a major UK employer we know that acting responsibly is not only good for the communities we operate in, but also makes good business sense.

Supporting the Foundation as a Principal Partner underlines our belief that people are at the heart of our business. We are proud to be the first mainstream manufacturer in the UK to become a Living Wage employer and see this as an opportunity to be a positive influence in our sector.”

Living Wage Foundation Director, Rhys Moore said: “We are very pleased to welcome Nestlé to the Principal Partners group of the Living Wage Foundation. The Partners provide invaluable support and guidance to the Foundation, sharing their business knowledge to help us grow and accredit more responsible businesses as Living Wage employers.

Being able to work with highly regarded business leaders, such as Nestlé, gives further credibility to our work within the corporate community. We believe that work should pay, a belief echoed by all our Principal Partners and over 1,000 living Wage employers.”

In support of Living Wage Week (2-8th November), Nestlé UK, in partnership with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Crawley Borough Council, is hosting breakfast events for local businesses at its York and Gatwick sites on the 3rd and 6th November respectively. The events aim to inform other local businesses about the Living Wage model and encourage them to embark on the accreditation journey.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation Chief Operating Officer, Shaun Rafferty said: “Businesses, individuals and communities all benefit from paying the Living Wage. We would urge more employers who can afford to pay the Living Wage to make a commitment to paying the rate. Our research shows higher pay is vital to helping staff on low incomes to make ends meet. As an employer who provides housing and care services, paying the Living Wage to staff has reduced turnover dramatically and improved the service we deliver to tenants and residents. A Living Wage for staff makes good business as well as moral sense.”

Leader of Crawley Borough Council, Councillor Peter Lamb, said: "The Council is committed to working to make Crawley a Living Wage zone. By leading by example and promoting the social and economic benefits to local employers and businesses alike, we hope to see many more Living Wage employers in Crawley.

All Town Hall employees, except apprentices, were already earning a Living Wage when we were accredited but it means that our contractors now have the same responsibility to their employees too. We want to encourage as many of the town's businesses as possible to follow in our footsteps and we're working towards making it as easy for them as possible. Our aim is to work with businesses to show them the benefits, appreciating that it may take time for some and others may struggle."

ENDS

Editors Notes:

Events at Nestlé sites:

Nestlé York, on Monday 3 November
Head Office, City Place, Gatwick on Thursday 6 November

For further information please call the Nestlé Press Office on 0208 667 6005 or email nestleukpressoffice@uk.nestle.com