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Nestlé's Living Wage move a 'significant milestone'

The decision by food giant Nestlé to pay its contract staff and agency workers the Living Wage has been strongly welcomed by campaigners and trade union leaders.

Living Wage Foundation director Rhys Moore said: "The accreditation of Nestlé as a Living Wage employer marks a significant milestone in the campaign to tackle in-work poverty."

Unite's Len McCluskey was among union leaders who welcomed the Nestlé's plans. Credit: Sean Dempsey/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The head of the Unite union, Len McCluskey, said the decision was a "positive stance which shows that paying a living wage is not just good for communities but makes good business sense too".

The GMB union's Tim Roache suggested the move could enable "many more" big manufacturers to raise wages for the lowest paid employees.

Food giant Nestle to pay all workers Living Wage

Food giant Nestle has pledged to pay all of its workers the Living Wage.

The company already pays at least the Living Wage to its own employees, but it has now committed to pay agency workers and contract staff the rate, which is set at £8.80 in London and £7.65 elsewhere.

Nestle is one of the largest companies to commit to the Living Wage. Credit: Fredrik Von Erichsen/DPA/Press Association Images

The move means about 800 different contractors that work with Nestle will implement the Living Wage by December 2017.

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Archbishop calls on Govt to raise care worker wages

The Government could drastically increase the amount of workers on living wage by raising the salaries of some of its own workers, like those in the care industry, the Archbishop of York has told Good Morning Britain.

Dr John Semantu dismissed suggestions raising the minimum wage to a living salary would prove too difficult for businesses and said:

"The Government is one of the biggest employers so if they really want to do it, for example in the care industry, the Government could...increase the kind of budgets, then it is quite possible people could be paid a living wage."

Living Wage may 'cost lowest paid job opportunities'

Raising salaries to the Living Wage does not take into account "the effects in wages might have on the job opportunities of the lowest paid," according to the Business Secretary.

Vince Cable hinted raising salaries to the Living Wage may have a detrimental effect on low-paid workers and said:

The Government supports businesses who voluntarily pay the Living Wage where it is affordable and doesn't cost jobs.

Unlike the minimum wage, which is carefully set by the independent Low Pay Commission, the Living Wage does not take into account the effect rises in wages might have on the job opportunities of the lowest paid.

To increase living standards, the Government has cut taxes making the average person £800 better off and taking 3.2m people out of tax all together, and from this October, those on the national minimum wage will see the first real increase in take home pay since 2008.

– Vince Cable

Majority in poverty 'now live in working households'

The majority of people living in poverty in the UK are from "working households", according to the chair of the Living Wage Commission.

The Archbishop of York said:

Working and still living in poverty is a national scandal. For the first time, the majority of people in poverty in the UK are now in working households.

The campaign for a Living Wage has been a beacon of hope for the millions of workers on low wages struggling to make ends meet.

If the Government now commits to making this hope a reality, we can take a major step towards ending the strain on all of our consciences. Low wages equals living in poverty.

– Archbishop of York

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Calls to end 'national scandal' of underpaid workers

The number of workers earning less than a living wage is a "national scandal" and the Government should aim to move at least one million of them out of poverty, according to a report.

The Living Wage Commission wants the Government to use the economic recovery to move workers out of poverty. Credit: PA

A year-long study from the Living Wage Commission urged the Government to implement a series of "low cost" measures, such as higher tax revenues and reduced in-work benefits.

Commission chair, the Archbishop of York John Sentamu, said the measures would help raise the salaries of half a million public sector workers.

Professional service firms such as accountancy, banks and construction companies could boost the pay of 375,000 workers if they agreed to pay the Living Wage, currently set at £8.80 an hour in London and £7.65 elsewhere, compared to the national minimum wage of £6.31, said the report.

The commission, made up of business, union and voluntary sector leaders, warned a failure to extend the Living Wage would mean families continuing to rely on food banks and "unsustainable debt" to get by.

Living Wage 'may do more harm than good'

The plans for the Living Wage may do more harm than good, thinks the Director General of the Institute of Economic Affairs.

Mark Littlewood said:

The so-called living wage may do more harm than good.

Highly successful, blue chip companies may well be able to sign up to the scheme fairly effortlessly.

Public authorities can also do so and simply pass the bill on to the taxpayer.

There is, however, a danger that naming and shaming companies unable to meet higher wages will depress job creation particularly in the poorer parts of the UK.

London is singled out for special treatment, but it is assumed that there are no differences between Bradford and Bath or between Winchester and Wolverhampton.

This is evidently absurd.

– Mark Littlewood, Director General of the Institute of Economic Affairs

Downing Street: Firms will not have to pay Living Wage

Downing Street has said the Government supports the Living Wage initiative but insisted that companies would not be made to bring it in against their will.

We back the idea of a living wage and we encourage businesses to take it up.

[But] we are not proposing to require it for businesses.

– Prime Minister's official spokesman
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