IHG performs reverse ferret on London Living Wage

13 November 2017 by
IHG performs reverse ferret on London Living Wage

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has announced it will not be adopting the London Living Wage after all.

The hotel group announced in 2012 it would be the first hotel group to support the scheme, and had planned to bring staff across eight hotels in the capital onto the London Living Wage by 2017.

An IHG spokesperson pointed out there had been "several valuable changes to UK pay and benefits legislation" over the past five years, including the introduction of a National Living Wage, pension auto-enrolment, higher national insurance and the apprenticeship levy.

"We won't be moving forward with gaining the voluntary London Living Wage accreditation, but remain focused on hospitality as a great career, as well as the associated pay and benefits, to ensure we remain an employer of choice."

The announcement follows the increase of the London Living Wage to £10.20 last week. The London Living Wage is separate from the statutory National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage, and is set by the Living Wage Foundation, not the government. The Living Wage Foundation grew out of a campaign started in 2001 by the community group Citizens UK.

Neil Jameson, executive director of Citizens UK, said: "Back in 2012 IHG the owners of Holiday Inn promised they would pay a London living wage to hotel staff in the capital but, five years on, hardworking staff are still waiting for this pay rise.

"It is deeply disappointing that IHG have let down workers and customers by not paying the London Living Wage after saying they would. We want IHG to meet with workers as a matter of urgency and agree a move to pay the London Living Wage and accredit with the Living Wage Foundation."

The IHG spokesperson added: "IHG is focused on supporting London, and the rest of the UK, in being a great place to live and work… We have made good progress in increasing the pay and benefits of managed hotel colleagues over the past five years, including going beyond legislative requirements for National Living Wage by paying the 19% of our workforce under 25 years old the new rate. Nearly 90% of colleagues are now paid more than the National Living Wage rate. Through our IHG Academy programme we have also helped to train and upskill over 500 local people."

IHG reported an increase in its profit before tax of $28m (£21m) to $326m (£250m) in the first six months of 2017, while former chief executive Richard Solomons was paid £3.45m in 2016. Solomons retired from the business in August and is succeeded by Keith Barr.

IHG becomes first hotel group to adopt London Living Wage >>

Real living wage rise could increase pressure on hospitality businesses >>

Unite accuses London hotel industry of ‘unethical' work practices >>

Holiday Inn is official hotel services provider to London Olympics >>

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