Scotland's Brewdog has revealed that it is going against the grain of the wider industry and is paying a living wage policy for its UK staff, making an unprecedented commitment to the wellbeing of its employees.
The infamously outspoken brewery, which is the largest in the UK, will grant a location dependent living wage to all 314 UK staff to focus on nurturing and keeping talent in the business instead of legal minimum wage limits that a majority of the industry usually implements.
"BrewDog is an eclectic collective of passionate people committed to great craft beer. All of them, from our talented brewers to our awesome bar staff, are integral to our success and growth so we wanted to reward their passion and dedication by guaranteeing a fair wage for all," said James Watt, cofounder at BrewDog.
"All of our staff will receive a wage that will afford them a good standard of living wherever they might be located. We want this to be a wakeup call for employers, especially in the hospitality industry.
"What should be a respected profession is often still regarded as a university stop gap. No other bar division has ever looked beyond legal minimum wages or legislative parameters in committing to salary levels for staff. But we want this to provide a call to arms for the industry to pick up its feet and set new standards."
The minimum wage in the UK was at £6.31 per hour for workers aged 21 years or more, which rose to £6.50 an hour on 1 October, and just £5.03 per hour for workers aged 18 to 20 inclusive.
The living wage is £2,787 per year higher than minimum wage
The living wage is £1.34 per hour higher than this, at £7.65 per hour (£8.80 an hour in London). Over a 40-hour working week, employees earning a living wage in the UK are paid £53.60 more than those paid the national minimum wage.
Brewdog adds that on top of granting living wages for its UK staff, it will also pay for all bar staff to take the Cicerone Certified Beer Server exam.
"We want to nurture their love of craft beer so they can enjoy a long and illustrious career in the industry," said Watt.
Over the last five years, BrewDog has experienced an average annual growth of 285%, making it the fastest growing food and drinks company in the UK.