IKEA to introduce Living Wage for Belfast staff
IKEA has announced it will adopt the Living Wage for its staff across the UK - raising pay for Belfast employees to a minimum of £7.85 per hour.
It's the first large national retailer to commit to paying UK workers the living wage, which is being viewed as a major boost to campaigners challenging big businesses over low pay.
More than 4,500 staff across the UK will get the pay rise on 1 April 2016.
Rhys Moore, Director of The Living Wage Foundation, said this was a historic moment for the Living Wage movement, which states £7.85 as the hourly rate of pay that currently covers the cost of living.
He told the Guardian: “The experience of the campaign throughout has been that you need a first mover in every sector.
"This opens up some fruitful conversations with others who have said this is impossible in retail and it can’t be done. It can.”
Gillian Drakeford, IKEA UK and Ireland Country Manager said: "We believe our people are the inner strength of our company, so it is only right to ensure we provide a meaningful wage that supports the cost of living.
"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."