21 July 2015 | Herpreet Grewal
Home furnishing retailer IKEA has announced it will adopt the Living Wage from 1 April 2016.
As part of what it calls "a holistic transformation of basic co-worker conditions", IKEA will pay the Living Wage as defined by the Living Wage Foundation.
This means that all co-workers employed by IKEA across the UK will receive a minimum of £7.85 per hour and £9.15 per hour within London. More than 50 per cent of IKEA's 9,000 co-workers will be impacted by this wage increase.
Gillian Drakeford, IKEA UK and Ireland country manager, said: "As a values-driven organisation, we are guided by our vision to create a better everyday life for the many people, which of course includes our co-workers. 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."
The introduction of the Living Wage is part of a wider transformation IKEA is making to basic worker conditions as it looks to ensure that employees not only have the right level of pay but also a schedule that works for both them, as well as the business and customers, and the right contract.
When asked whether the new announcement would apply to those who work in facilities management within the company, a spokeswoman for IKEA told FM World: "At this early stage we are not able to provide the breakdown in terms of different teams that will be affected [but] we are committing to paying the Living Wage and over the next nine months we will work closely with our co-workers to create the right solution for delivering this as part of our holistic transformation of co-worker conditions."
However, she said: "Our commitment to the Living Wage includes all IKEA employees working for in the UK and Ireland. In terms of our suppliers, in order to be a member of the Living Wage Foundation we have to put a plan in place with all the organisations we interact with. Over the next nine months we will consult with all our suppliers on an individual basis and work closely together to deliver the right solution."
IKEA's cleaning is provided by external suppliers and the facilities management team is in-house, "so any of those currently below the Living Wage will be impacted by this announcement" added the spokeswoman.
Rhys Moore, director of The Living Wage Foundation called the announcement "a historic moment in the life of the Living Wage movement". He added: "As IKEA become the first national retailer to announce their commitment to the Living Wage and they will reward all their staff with an hourly rate of pay that covers the cost of living.
"This is a huge step for the British retail sector and we hope that many other businesses will follow the leadership IKEA is showing on the issue of basic pay."