Pret pay rise prompts calls for key workers to get boost

Pret A Manger has confirmed pay rises up to £10 an hour for its staff.

Pret A Manger has confirmed pay rises up to £10 an hour for its staff and economic experts have reacted to the news - Credit: PA/Supplied

Staff at Pret A Manger have welcomed the news that their wages have been upped to £10 an hour - but the news has prompted key workers to ask for similar improvements. 

It comes following a report last year from the Trades Union Congress which found that one in three workers earn less than £10 an hour.

Financial expert Richard Ross, director of Norwich-based wealth managers Chadwicks, said it was important that firms like Pret pay their employees fairly. 

Richard Ross, director of Chadwicks Limited.

Richard Ross, director of Chadwicks - Credit: Richard Ross

He said: "You have very large firms that pay close to minimum wage and their workers are subsidised by work benefits such as income support.

"It's wrong that multinationals pay low and employees have to get subsidised from elsewhere.

"It's a really good move by Pret."

David Turnbull, national officer for hospitality at Unite.

David Turnbull, national officer for hospitality at Unite. - Credit: David Turnbull

But David Turnbull, national officer for hospitality at trade union Unite, still believes companies like Pret might struggle to recruit staff.

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He added: “Companies trapped in a lower pay business model will find that in today's climate £10 an hour will not go far enough to help them recruit and retain the quality and quantity of staff they will need as we move gradually back to normality.” 

And Sam Gurney, regional secretary for trade union TUC in the East of England, added that a number of its members were paid less than £10 per hour and the issue is "widespread".

Sam Gurney, regional secretary for trade union TUC in the East of England

Sam Gurney, regional secretary for trade union TUC in the East of England. - Credit: Sam Gurney

He said: "Security workers, retail staff, many in hospitality such as restaurants and hotels are all paid under that rate.

"Two things that have been reported as potentially making the biggest immediate difference to weekly pay were more hours and the security of hours, being certain that the shifts you were rostered for would happen."

However Mr Gurney welcomed the pay rise but said it was important to remember the Retail Price Index (RPI) inflation due to the cost of living crisis.

He added: "We are in a cost of living crisis, so we all need to remember that RPI inflation, which has traditionally been used for calculating pay increases, is currently 7.1pc.

"Unless a pay rise exceeds that, any worker will find themselves worse off at the end of the year.

"Sadly, low pay is a curse in our economy and the TUC has called for action to level up in workplaces across Britain."

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