IKEA staff to get the living wage from April
Swedish furniture giant IKEA - which employs 300 staff in Belfast - is adopting the new 'living wage' of £7.85 per hour from next April, it has announced.
The company, which has a superstore in Holywood Exchange, recently recruited another 40 staff in Belfast and has a workforce of around 9,000 across the UK.
Gillian Drakeford, country manager for the UK and Ireland for IKEA, said: "Introducing the living wage is not only the right thing to do for our co-workers, but it also makes good business sense.
"This is a long-term investment in our people based on our values and our belief that a team with good compensation and working conditions is in a position to provide a great experience to our customers."
In the Budget earlier this month, Chancellor George Osborne announced a new 'living wage' of £7.20 for over-25s, replacing the minimum £6.20 per hour for over-21s. The living wage is due to rise to over £9 an hour by 2020.
Lobby groups such as the Northern Ireland Independent Retail Association and Hospitality Ulster have said implementing the living wage will place an intolerable burden on small businesses.