‘Not one UK high street chain pays living wage’

A new report says major British chain stores have failed to guarantee their staff the living wage.

According to Citizens UK, the charity that launched the living wage campaign and set up the Living Wage Foundation, said retailers employed the biggest group of low-paid staff and needed to consider their social responsibilities, The Independent reported.

Neil Jameson, director of Citizens UK, has said: “Not a single high street retailer has accredited as a Living Wage employer, despite posting huge profits, whilst we, the taxpayers, help top up the wages of their low-paid staff through in-work tax credits.”

He also said, “It’s a perverse situation when a supermarket worker, despite having a staff discount, can’t afford to shop in the store they work in because of poverty pay, and a full-time member of staff relies on benefits to make ends meet.”

The report further pointed out that last week National Express became the first transport company to become an accredited UK-wide living-wage employer, joining 1,200 firms in paying the independently set hourly rate of £7.85, or £9.15 in London. The wage is linked to the cost of living and is set with the aim of ensuring a decent minimum standard of living.

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