Frozen food retailer Cook has become an accredited living wage employer.
Cook will ensure that all staff in its kitchens and across its 43 company-owned shops will be paid at least the hourly living wage rate of £7.85, and £9.15 in London locations.
This will result in a pay rise for 322 employees.
The living wage is based on the basic cost of living in the UK. The national minimum wage is currently set at £6.50 an hour.
Edward Perry, founder of Cook, said: “We were already paying above the minimum wage of £6.50 an hour; but after 18 years I’m very pleased that Cook is finally in a robust financial position, making a decent profit each year.
“Most of that profit is ploughed back into the business. What’s left over is available to be paid as dividends to shareholders. Given our purpose, we felt it would be inappropriate for shareholders to get a dividend while Cook wasn’t paying people a living wage, as measured by a credible, independent benchmark.
“At Cook, we know our product and our brand is only as good as our people. They all do a remarkable job. We’re delighted to now be an official living wage employer.”