First Bus to become UK’s largest bus operator to adopt Real Living Wage

Posted: 12 January 2024 | | No comments yet

First Bus is set to become the UK’s largest national bus operator to embrace the Real Living Wage commitment, ensuring fair pay for all employees from April 2024.

First Bus to become UK’s largest bus operator to adopt Real Living Wage

Credit: First Bus

First Bus has announced its decision to transition into a Real Living Wage (RLW) employer starting 1 April 2024. This strategic decision will result in enhanced wages for 1,300 colleagues throughout the UK, ensuring each employee receives a minimum of £12 per hour in pay rates. This shift encompasses various roles within the company, including those employed through third-party contractors.

Upon accreditation, First Bus will secure its position as the largest national bus operator in the UK to make such a commitment. The commitment underscores the significance of First Bus’s workforce, emphasising the company’s dedication to ensuring that no colleague is left behind.

The Real Living Wage is a voluntary commitment that surpasses the UK government’s National Living Wage (NLW) standard, which is mandatory for companies to pay workers aged 23 and above. With this accreditation, First Bus pledges to remunerate every colleague across its UK operations with at least the Real Living Wage.

Calculated annually and independently set by the Living Wage Foundation, the RLW is based on actual living costs rather than median earnings calculations used for the NLW. Applicable to workers aged 18 and above, the current RLW stands at £12.00 per hour.

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In addition, First Bus will extend its RLW initiative to apprentices, gradually raising their wages to RLW levels over the next 18 months. This move highlights First Bus’s recognition of the value it places on a diverse and inclusive apprenticeship population.

Janette Bell, Managing Director of First Bus, said: “We are delighted to be working with the Living Wage Foundation and look forward to achieving our Real Living Wage commitment. I am thrilled this will positively impact 1,300 of our colleagues with a pay rise from April 1st and that we are once again demonstrating to our people and the market that we care.”

Lynn Anderson, Living Wage Scotland Manager, said: “We’re delighted that First Bus will be accrediting in April, giving a pay rise to hundreds of employees. First Bus will join more than 3,400 Scottish employers and 14,000 Living Wage employers across the UK who are committed to always paying their staff a wage in line with the cost of living. We look forward to welcoming First Bus to the Living Wage movement.”

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