Friday 25 September 2015 2:01 pm

Starbucks pledges living wage and interest-free loans for rent to workers

Starbucks has said it will pay the National Living Wage to all of its workers in the UK and will even offer its workers interest-free loans to help them with housing costs.

Read more: Time's running out to reap goodwill from the living wage

The coffee conglomerate said that, from November, all baristas – including those under 25 not legally entitled to the living wage – will benefit from a pay boost from £6.77 an hour to £7.20, while supervisors will see their hourly wage increased to £8.72 from £8.20.

A spokesperson said:

The company is ensuring the increase in salary applies to all employees and will not use lower rates for younger partners or apprentices.

The move stands in contrast to rival coffee chain Costa which said it was forced to raise its prices in order to deal with the rising costs imposed by the National Living Wage.

George Osborne's new National Living Wage legislation will come into effect next April, starting at £7.20 per hour and expected to rise to £9.35 by April 2020.

According to the Financial Times, the company will also begin offering its workers interest-free loans – repayable over 12 months – to help them put down rent deposits.

Kris Engskov, president of Starbucks in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, told the paper: "People are working in cities and not being able to afford housing close to where they work."

Business Secretary Sajid Javid, welcomed the move. He said:

Every part of Britain should benefit from our growing economy and now is the right time to ensure fairer pay for low wage workers. 
So its hugely welcome to see that Starbucks is extending the National Living Wage to all of its staff.”