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05 Oct 2015

Starbucks UK to provide housing loan scheme for employees

International coffee chain Starbucks has just announced that it will implement a loan scheme to help UK employees with the costs of renting in the private sector, the Sustainable Brands website reports.

In a move that is said to go over and above the government´s advice on paying staff a National Living Wage, Starbucks UK has teamed up with housing and homelessness charity Shelter to implement a Tenancy Deposit Loan Scheme for its employees.

There are currently more than 11 million private tenants across the country, explains Shelter´s chief executive, Campbell Robb. But with living expenses continuing to rise and the average deposit for a rental property now costing £1,226, a growing number of people are finding it difficult to save enough money to secure themselves a home.

The Tenancy Deposit Scheme is just one element of the charity´s Home Sweet Loan initiative, in collaboration with Generation Rent. Once it is put into action at Starbucks, employees will be able to acquire an interest-free loan to help them pay a rental deposit when moving to a new property.

In addition to this, from April 2016 Starbucks will increase its basic pay from £6.77 per hour to £7.20 per hour for all employees, regardless of their age, as well as a London Premium for staff working in the capital. The company has also expressed its support for the government´s long-term goal of implementing a basic pay rate of £9.00 per hour.

Commenting on the news, Robb said it was “great to see that Starbucks is […] helping their staff to move into a home without worrying about how they´ll cover the cost,” adding that it “will no doubt encourage other UK employers to follow their example.”

This already appears to be happening as other companies within in the food and retail sector look to provide staff with more compensation, although not in relation to finding a home. Ikea UK became the first UK retailer to pay its staff more than the National Living Wage, and Chipotle Mexican Grill expanded its benefits – such as sick pay, paid holiday leave and tuition reimbursements – to all members of staff.

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