Costa Coffee chain owner Whitbread has announced a pay rise for its baristas which will put them on more than the new UK National Living Wage.
The firm said that from tomorrow it will increase the pay of its 12,500 baristas, including under 25s, to a minimum of £7.40 an hour once they have completed their initial training. Baristas in London will earn a minimum of £8.20 an hour.
The National Living Wage will be £7.20 an hour when it is introduced next April.
Costa managing director Chris Rogers said: “We have chosen to pay the same rates to everyone as we strongly believe that if two people are making the same contribution they should receive the same pay and that it should be linked to training and skills levels, not age.”
The announcement comes three weeks after Andy Harrison, the boss of parent company Whitbread, warned it will have to hike prices and faces a “substantial” hit as a result of the living wage announcement, made by Chancellor George Osborne in his last Budget.
Several other big employers have announced pay rises for staff in recent weeks ahead of the introduction of the new national living wage.