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Amazon to raise its minimum wage for UK employees from November 1

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Amazon said today that it was to raise its minimum wage to £10.50 an hour in London and £9.50 an hour in the rest of the UK, in a move that it says will benefit 37,000 of its UK workers.

At the same time, the retailer has moved its basic US wage to $15 an hour. 

Amazon, an Elite retailer in IRUK Top500 research, says that both 17,000 permanent UK staff, as well as more than 20,000 seasonal workers will benefit as a result. 

Doug Gurr, Amazon VP and UK country manager, said: “We’re excited to announce Amazon is raising our minimum wage for all full-time, part-time, seasonal and temporary UK employees – effective November 1. This will impact more than 37,000 employees across the country, resulting in higher ay for them and their families.”

Currently, the UK national minimum wage is set at £7.83 an hour, while the Living Wage Foundation recommends a minimum wage of £8.75 an hour in the UK and £10.20 an hour in London. Until the new hourly rate comes into force next month, Amazon itself pays £8.20 an hour in London, £8.75 an hour at its Tilbury site, and £8 an hour elsewhere in the UK.

Today’s Amazon announcement beats both those figures. It amounts to a 28% rise in the London area, and an 18.8% rise in other parts of the country. It also reads somewhat like a recruitment ad. Not only, it says, will workers benefit from its new minimum wage, but they will also receive a comprehensive benefits package including paid breaks and a company pension plan, as well as investment in skills and training. It also emphasises its credentials as an employer. “Amazon,” it says, “was named one of the top UK companies for attracting and retailing talent according to LinkedIn’s 2018 Top Attractors Life.”

However, the retailer is ending its stock option for staff at the same time, replacing it with the opportunity of buying shares directly. On its blog it says: “We’ve heard from our hourly fulfillment and customer service employees that they prefer the predictability and immediacy of cash to RSUs (restricted stock units).”

The news comes at around the time that UK retailers are hiring for peak trading in the run up to Christmas – and is likely to mean the retailer is better placed in the war for talent in a highly competitive market. 

Earlier this year, DPD said it would give its staff more choice in working conditions as it looked to become the first-choice option for delivery workers. This move from Amazon looks likely to achieve a similar end.

Image courtesy of Amazon

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