Independent high street retailer Oliver Bonas has been accredited as a living wage employer, meaning that all staff will now be paid at least £7.85 an hour.
Oliver Bonas has committed to paying all directly employed staff, as well as third party contractors, the living wage.
This includes employees across its 43 stores and at its head office and warehouse distribution centre in Chessington, Surrey. The retailer employs a total of 500 staff, rising to 650 over the Christmas period.
Its employees based in London will be paid the London living wage of £9.15 an hour, which reflects the higher costs of living in the capital.
The living wage rate is an independently calculated figure based on the cost of living, and it is significantly higher than the national minimum wage rate £6.50 per hour. It also goes beyond the recently announced national living wage for workers over 25, which will be £7.20 an hour from April 2016.
There are currently over 1,700 accredited living wage employers, including Nationwide, Yorkshire Water, Chelsea Football Club, Santander, Ikea UK, Burberry, Barclays and Nestle.
Oliver Tress, managing director of Oliver Bonas, said: “We are thrilled that we are now able to pay the living wage to all members of our team. We want to do everything we can to pay our team a wage that reflects their hard work and loyalty, and the real cost of living.
“This is a direct result of the hard work of our team, helping us to grow the business at a good, steady pace over the last twenty or so years. We hope it also encourages more people to come and work with us here at Oliver Bonas in the future.”