Retail giant Amazon is to increase its minimum wage to £10.50 an hour in London and £9.50 for other parts of the UK, the company has announced.
The new rates will lift pay by up to 28% in the London area and 18.8% elsewhere, and will benefit more than 17,000 permanent workers and 20,000 seasonal staff, said Amazon. The company said workers will continue to receive benefits including paid breaks, private medical insurance and help with training fees.
This will impact more than 37,000 employees across the country, resulting in higher pay for them and their families
But a share scheme will be phased out and replaced with a “direct stock purchase plan” before the end of 2019.
“We’re excited to announce Amazon is raising our minimum wage for all full-time, part-time, seasonal, and temporary UK employees, effective from November 1,” said Doug Gurr, Amazon vice president and UK country manager.
“This will impact more than 37,000 employees across the country, resulting in higher pay for them and their families.” The statutory living wage for adults is currently £7.83 an hour, while the voluntary “real” living wage is £10.20 an hour in London and £8.75 outside the capital.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Amazon is a trillion-dollar company. It can easily afford to pay staff higher wages.
“If Amazon is really serious about looking after its workforce it must recognise trade unions, and it must end the exploitative working practices.”
Tim Roache, GMB general secretary, said: “I’m glad Amazon has heeded GMB union’s long-standing calls to pay people, at the very least, the minimum they need to live – though given their owner is the richest man in the world you’d think he could see fit to dig a little deeper, but it’s a start.”
Shadow employment minister Mike Amesbury said: “Amazon should continue to build on this progress by updating other elements of its working practices to ensure a good working environment across the board.
“They should also address the situation with tax and pay their fair share.”
Tess Lanning, director of the Living Wage Foundation, which sets the voluntary “real living wage”, said: “It’s right that Amazon, one of the richest companies in the world, has recognised the need to pay people enough to live on.
“All employers who voluntarily pay more than the government minimum, especially those who employ as many workers as Amazon, deserve recognition. Now Amazon should step up and sign up as a Living Wage Employer.”