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Suppliers extend national living wage to all staff

Accor, Brooklands Hotel and Urban People among those to pay all staff new living wage and not just under 25s

Pictured: Brooklands Hotel general manager Marco Gervasoni

Venues and suppliers are going beyond new national living wage requirements and paying all staff the revised wage - not just the over 25s.

AccorHotels, Brooklands Hotel in Surrey, and catering recruitment specialist Urban People say they have applied the national new living wage, which was introduced by the UK government on 1 April, to all staff.

They join a host of other suppliers keen to improve pay conditions for staff, such as Wyboston Lakes and National Living Wage accredited venues Barnett Hill and Church House Conference Centre.

As part of the wage reforms, chancellor George Osborne has introduced a compulsory living wage of £7.20 an hour for over 25s, an increase of 50p on the old national minimum wage. This is a reduced rate of pay compared to the voluntary Living Wage of £8.25 (£9.40 in London), championed by the Living Wage Foundation and the M&IT and ABPCO Living Wage for Live Events campaign.

Accor employs 5,000 people in the UK across Sofitel, Pullman, Novotel, Mercure and ibis brands, and is rolling out the minimum rate irrespective of age.

Brooklands Hotel's general manager Marco Gervasoni said with almost 40 per cent of staff aged under 25, it was the right decision to increase wages across the board.

"The future of any business lies with the younger generation. They need to see the hospitality industry as a serious profession – a profession that requires exceptional skills, great commitment and passion in order to deliver outstanding experiences for our guests. We believe that appropriate salary remuneration is vital in order to ensure that the UK hospitality industry is perceived as a serious career prospect," he said.

Gervasoni said the decision had brought about to attract the younger generation and retain high quality staff.

He added: "Retention is very important to us but we believe remuneration is not the only factor to retain our team. This is more about having the right culture within the business, great career development opportunities with strong succession plans in place and great leaders within the business to look after our team players.”

London-based Urban People said it would be "unfair" to pay some staff more than others because of their age.

Director Jo Fowle said: "We’ve been recruiting and providing staff for the hospitality industry for quite some time now, we know how very hard everyone has to work. Sometimes the hours can be long and there’s nearly always something going on to make life busy.

"We know that people don’t all of a sudden start having bills to pay when they hit 25 and the cost of living can affect anyone the minute it becomes a fact of life. So the 16-year-old school leaver can easily be in the same boat as someone older. Age shouldn’t come into how much you earn and we believe that everyone should have the chance to be paid fairly."

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