Cosmetic retail organisation Lush is to pay all of its permanent employees in the UK, including retail and manufacturing staff, the voluntary living wage from April 2017.
The commitment to the living wage will result in a pay increase for 3,555 employees, who will see their hourly rate of pay rise from £7.40 to £8.45.
Lush has been paying the London living wage to employees working in the capital since 2011.
The living wage, which is paid voluntarily by employers, is an independently-set rate of pay that is calculated according to the cost of living. The living wage is currently set at £8.45 an hour for employees aged 18 or over working across the UK, and £9.75 in London.
The organisation will be accredited as a living wage employer by the Living Wage Foundation in April 2017.
Lush, which employs 4,500 members of staff in the UK and 19,471 globally, will continue to review pay rates for its international employees.
The organisation is also enhancing its maternity and paternity offering; UK employees will be able to take up to six months of maternity leave at full pay, and four weeks of paternity leave at full pay.
Lush is introducing 20 hours of funded childcare for 46 weeks to help staff who are returning to work after starting a family. The employer-funded childcare will be available until employees become eligible for the government’s childcare scheme.
The organisation is also in the process of setting up an employee benefit trust, which will acquire 10% of newly-issued shares in Lush Cosmetics. The trust aims to bring an element of employee ownership to the organisation, raise employee engagement levels to support business performance during uncertain times, and provide staff with a more formalised voice.
Kim Coles, global finance director at Lush, said: “We are delighted to be making this [living wage] announcement to our lovely, dedicated and enthusiastic staff. It is thanks to all their hard work that we have been able to make this commitment.”