Gifts and homeware retailer Oliver Bonas has provided a major boost to the high street after committing to paying its staff the living wage.
The chain, which has 43 UK stores as well as a warehouse and head office in Chessington, announced it will start paying all directly-employed staff and third party contractors at least £7.85 an hour from today.
The move will mean a pay rise for over 500 staff, with those working in London paid £9.15 an hour.
“We are thrilled that we are now able to pay the Living Wage to all members of our team. We want to do everything we can to pay our team a wage that reflects their hard work and loyalty – and the ‘real’ cost of living,” its founder Oliver Tress said
In July, George Osborne revealed a compulsory living wage of £7.20 for workers aged over 25, to replace the £6.50 minimum wage from April next year.
The wage hike raised concerns of increased job losses as businesses struggle to meet costs.
However many bosses have come out in favour of it, with Ikea committing to the living wage last month. Sainsbury’s has meanwhile pledged to pay staff above the government’s national living wage from this month at £7.36.