Nestlé has become the UK's first company that will increase the minimum wage to above the minimum wage the government enforces, even though its effects may not be immediate.
Three more years for contracted staff
The current minimum wage in the United Kingdom is 6.31 pounds per hour (7.9 euro), but Nestlé has now promised to pay its employees 7.65 pounds per hour (9.5 euro), while its employees in London will get at least 8.8 pounds per hour (nearly 11 euro) as life there is more expensive.
The company has also promised to pay minimum wages to graduates, interns and school-leavers in its Fast Start program, but according to a company spokesperson, it may take up to three years before it contracted staff (some 800 in the United Kingdom) will reap the benefits of this increased minimum wage as contractor firms have until December 2017 to conform to its new rules.
"The right thing to do"
"As a major UK employer, we know that this is the right thing to do. Not only does it benefit our employees, but also the communities they live and work in", Fiona Hendrick (Nestlé UK & Ireland CEO) told British paper The Telegraph.
There's an increasing amount of pressure on the minimum wage in the United Kingdom. Only last week, 33,000 Tesco employees signed a petition asking for a higher minimum wage and Nestlé is the first large company that has independently decided to raise the minimum wage it pays.