Pets at Home is to pay all of its employees the national living wage, including those aged under 25.
The statutory national living wage, announced by Chancellor George Osborne in the Summer Budget 2015, will come into effect in April 2016. The £7.20 an hour rate is mandatory for all staff aged 25 and over.
Pets at Home, which employs 5,260 staff, currently pays a starting rate of £6.79 an hour, which is above the national minimum wage rate of £6.70. The hourly wage paid to employees increases as they progress through the firm’s Steps training programme. This follows a learn-to-earn model, enabling staff to earn additional bonus payments as they complete external qualifications.
The retailer will implement the national living wage when it comes into force in April, applying it to its hourly starting rate and incorporating it into its Steps programme.
The organisation expects an incremental financial impact of £2 million as a result of the introduction of the national living wage. It estimates the longer-term impact to be £2-3 million a year before mitigation.
In its interim financial report for the 2016 financial year, published on 24 November, Pets at Home states: “Providing our colleagues with a truly amazing place to work is one of our core values.
“To achieve this we provide ongoing training and education and a competitive pay and benefits package, in an environment where we work hard and have fun.
“The Steps programme has been invaluable in developing our highly engaged in-store experts and this will be retained within the Living Wage framework.”