Virgin Money today told staff it will be giving out £1,000 bonuses to all workers on salaries of less than £50,000 a year to help them deal with the UK’s cost-of-living crisis.
In an internal memo seen by City A.M., Virgin Money chief executive David Duffy told staff earning less than £50,000 that they will receive a £1,000 one off payment to help them deal with “pressure on their finances” from the inflation and surging living costs.
The payments are set to be handed to 78 per cent of Virgin Money’s staff on the 19 August, and will be given the option of paying the bonuses into their pension pots.
“The increase in the cost of living is on everyone’s minds, whether in political circles, in the media, or in the local supermarket,” the memo says. “It’s also been part of many conversations among the Leadership Team because we know that many colleagues are experiencing additional pressure on their finances.”
The bonuses come after Virgin Money upped base pay for its staff by an average of five per cent earlier this year, as it also offered employees five new “wellbeing days”.
The firm said it had agreed the bonuses with the trade union Unite, following discussions with the UK’s second largest union.
In a statement, Unite’s national union officer Caren Evans said: “Unite has secured the £1,000 payment following a campaign to show Virgin Money UK how the increases to the cost of living is hitting the overwhelming majority of its staff.”
“The union will now continue to campaign to secure a consolidated pay increase for the whole workforce to ensure that all wages increase in line with inflation,” Evans said.
Virgin Money’s negotiations with Unite come after Rolls-Royce faced backlash from the union over its bid to offer 14,000 staff one off payments of £2,000 each, to help them deal with the cost-of-living crunch.