left to right Adam Brain - Warehouse operative Alex Badeley - Warehouse operative Kate Malkin - Retail assistant manager Jonathan Capener - Managing Director Sophie Bird - Marketing Assistant Katie Lowe - Marketing Manager James Lomas - Marketing Assistant
left to right – Adam Brain – Warehouse operative, Alex Badeley – Warehouse operative, Kate Malkin – Retail assistant manager, Jonathan Capener – Managing Director, Sophie Bird – Marketing Assistant, Katie Lowe – Marketing Manager, James Lomas – Marketing Assistant

Smith and Morris Retail Ltd is pleased to announce that they have become an accredited Living Wage employer which is great news for the firm’s 33 employees.

The Living Wage commitment will see everyone working for Staffordshire based Smith and Morris Retail Ltd, regardless of whether they are permanent employees or third-party contractors and suppliers; receive a minimum hourly wage of £7.65 – significantly higher than the national minimum wage of £6.31.

The Living Wage is an hourly rate set independently and updated annually. The Living Wage is calculated according to the basic cost of living using the ‘Minimum Income Standard’ for the UK. Decisions about what to include in this standard are set by the public; it is a social consensus about what people need to make ends meet.

One local employee said of the hourly increase that it couldn’t have come at a better time especially since the arrival of his first child just 12 weeks ago!

Smith and Morris Retail Ltd trades via online retail sites SmithandMorris.co.uk and OutdoorandCountry.co.uk as well as two Barbour branded clothing stores in Knutsford, Cheshire and Blackbrook, Staffordshire, and employs over 30 people from the local and surrounding areas.

Smith & Morris Managing Director, Jonathan Capener said:

“We are very pleased to be an accredited Living Wage employer. We believe that all staff should be paid fairly for the work they deliver.

We are a growing business and pride ourselves in providing great customer service. I believe that the best way to deliver a quality service for customers is to value and reward the staff who serve them. Our business decision to become a Living Wage employer has already helped several of our team, demonstrating that the impact of the Living Wage is felt first and foremost in homes across the country.”

Employers choose to pay the Living Wage on a voluntary basis and Smith & Morris are the first clothing retailer in the UK to take this decision. The Living Wage enjoys cross party support, with public backing from the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition.

Living Wage Foundation Director, Rhys Moore said:

“We are delighted to welcome Smith & Morris to the Living Wage movement as the first clothing retailer to become an accredited employer.

Retail jobs are traditionally amongst some of the lowest paid roles in the country, with many employers opting to peg wages to the lowest rate legally possible, the national minimum wage.

The Living Wage Foundation believes that work should be the surest way out of poverty, and the leadership Smith & Morris has shown will, we hope, encourage others in this industry to consider how they support low-paid employees.

The best employers are voluntarily signing up to pay the Living Wage now. The Living Wage is a robust calculation that reflects the real cost of living, rewarding a hard day’s work with a fair day’s pay.”