National Express becomes UK’s first private transport group to pay Living Wage
National Express has become an accredited Living Wage employer and the first private transport group to pay the higher, voluntary Living Wage in the West Midlands.
As well as pledging to pay all UK employees the Living Wage, National Express will also be ensuring the same for all agency and contracted staff.
The move will benefit hundreds of workers across its UK bus, coach and rail businesses.
National Express’ largest UK business, the bus division, is leading the way paying the Living Wage from 3 January 2016. National Express’ UK coach and rail businesses will follow by the end of 2017.
The company’s pledge to ensure that all members of staff earn a Living Wage has been welcomed by staff and senior politicians.
Eileen Whitemore, Cleaner at National Express West Midlands Acocks Green Garage said:
“This is great news for me and my family. Being paid the Living Wage will give us the ability to save that little bit more for our grandson’s future and treat the kids to a meal out every now and again. It is not a huge amount per hour but it will make a big difference to us.”
Gerard Coyne, Regional Director Unite said:
"This announcement is great news for the 340 staff directly affected and shows National Express' commitment to be a good employer to all its staff. I would like to see more big companies in the West Midlands follow their lead and pay the Living Wage."
Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin MP, Secretary of State for Transport said:
"I welcome National Express' decision to become a Living Wage employer. This important step will have a real impact and demonstrates the success of our transport sector. National Express plays a vital role in helping people go about their daily business."
Dean Finch, National Express Group Chief Executive said:
"Our staff do a great job helping hundreds of thousands of people get to work and school and to see their family and friends every day. We are always looking at what more we can do to recognise this hard work and being a Living Wage employer in the UK testifies to our determination to be the best possible employer.”
Sarah Vero, Director Living Wage Foundation said:
“It’s fantastic news that National Express has been accredited as a Living Wage employer and we look forward to working with them as they roll out the Living Wage to their directly employed team, and their contracted staff, across their bus, coach and rail businesses. Over 2,000 organisations are now accredited Living Wage employers across the UK.
“National Express is the first private transport group to accredit, and we hope their announcement today and the leadership that they are showing, will lay down a marker in the transport sector. We hope that more well-known brands, and increasingly their customers, will see the benefits of the Living Wage in their communities. The voluntary Living Wage is a robust calculation that reflects the real cost of living; going above the statutory minimums and rewarding a hard day’s work with a fair day’s pay.”
The Living Wage is currently £9.40 an hour in London and £8.25 an hour across the rest of the UK, compared to the national minimum wage of £6.70 and the new minimum wage premium for over 25s called the ‘National Living Wage’ of £7.20 an hour that will be introduced in April 2016. More information on the Living Wage can be found here.