French bakery and café group Paul has introduced the National Living Wage early, it announced today.
The company will increase the starting hourly rate of pay to £7.20 as of 1 November, ahead of the mandatory increase for employees aged 25 and over in April next year.
Team members can earn up to £8.90 per hour, rising to £9.60 per hour for supervisors.
Jean Michel Orieux, chief executive of Paul UK, said: "We see the introduction of this increase as extremely positive and are pleased to be one of the first companies in the UK to adopt it. Anything that encourages people to take up a career in the hospitality industry can only be a good thing. By paying the April rate ahead of many other hospitality businesses, we are showing our commitment to our existing employees and are confident this will attract new people to the business".
The decision comes off the back of record financial results for the year ended 31 December 2014. The group's revenue rose 13.7% on a like-for-like basis, and group turnover was £24.6m, up 3.6% on 2013's figure of £23.8m.
The business has also been expanding rapidly, opening its second restaurant at Tower 42 in the City and four bakeries at London's Three Quays and Marble Arch as well as in Birmingham and Newbury. The group plans to open a further seven bakeries over the next 12 months, including a second site in Birmingham at New Street station in November.
Government names hospitality firms that failed to pay minimum wage >>Living Wage to add ‘financial pressure', Wetherspoon warns >>Paul bakery group reveals more details on Birmingham site >>Are you looking for a new role? See all the current hospitality vacancies available with The Caterer Jobs >>
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