Photo: left to right, Kim Leahy HR Director from Sodexo, Ross Murdock National Officer from GMB Trade Union, Sara Johnson Programme Manager from the Living Wage Foundation and Nestlé UK & Ireland HR Director Paul Steadman - credit: Dan Oxtoby
Nestlé, the world’s largest food and drinks producer, is celebrating five years as a Living Wage employer in the UK. The Living Wage, organised by the Living Wage Foundation, is set independently each year after a thorough analysis of what employees and their families need to earn in order to have a decent standard of living and fully participate in society.
Nestlé was the first major manufacturer in the UK back in 2014 to pledge the Living Wage to all its employees and in 2017 extended the commitment to cover all contractors across all of its sites. The UK Living Wage for the next year will be £9.30 per hour, rising to £10.75 per hour in Greater London to reflect the greater costs of living in the capital.
Reflecting on the five-year anniversary and also to mark Living Wage Week (11th - 17th November 2019), a UK-wide celebration of the campaign, Nestlé in York hosted an event attended by GMB Trade Union, the Living Wage Foundation and Sodexo, Nestlé’s food services and facilities suppliers. The event shared personal employee reflections and thoughts on how Nestlé’s adoption of the Living Wage has changed lives and careers.
Nestlé UK & Ireland HR Director Paul Steadman said: “In 2014 we became a Living Wage employer because it syncs up with the Nestlé values which run through everything we do. Making a difference in the communities and societies in which we operate is a key principle for our business globally.
“Today we heard some first-hand stories from across our York operations on what the Living Wage has meant for our people and their families. Whether it’s the freedom to retrain, support their families or simply the security that a fair wage brings, the Living Wage has transformed lives at Nestlé.
“The Living Wage is just one of the many ways Nestlé is increasing opportunities for individuals in the societies in which we operate as part of our wider commitment to social mobility, inclusion and belonging.”
Ross Murdock, National Officer GMB, attended the event on behalf of both GMB and Unite the Union and said: “The trade unions salute the decision taken by Nestlé back in 2014 to become the first mainstream food manufacturer in the UK to become a Living Wage employer.
“Nestlé demonstrated a clear commitment and priority to their employees and the communities they live and work in. Five years on and this commitment in terms of best practice still shines bright.
“We are proud to be part of this five year celebration.”
The Living Wage commitment Nestlé has made is a higher commitment than the National Living Wage, and is voluntary for employers, rather than a legal requirement. The Living Wage is separate to the UK Government’s National Living Wage.