British Gas and Centrica receive living wage accreditation

UNISON plays lead role in a ‘crucial step’ towards a fair wage for energy workers

UNISON today welcomed the news that Centrica and British Gas have been accredited by the Living Wage Foundation, as “a crucial step towards a fair wage for workers.”

Ensuring that all employees in the energy industry receive at least the living wage is a key priority for UNISON. The union has been working with key energy employers and the Living Wage Foundation for the past 18 months to reach this result.

UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis commented: “This announcement will put a spring in the step of the many workers employed by contractors and suppliers who work with British Gas and Centrica.”

The 2014 L7/L8 pay deal agreed with British Gas meant that all directly employed staff were paid above the living wage rate.

But discussions followed to move British Gas and Centrica towards becoming accredited living wage employers. Over a period of time from accreditation, this will require contractors working for British Gas and Centrica – in catering, cleaning, security, ancillary and many other roles – to pay at least the living wage rate as the minimum pay rate to employees.

Currently the living wage is at least £7.85 an hour (£9.15 in London) and is significantly higher than the national minimum wage of £6.50 per hour.

Mr Prentis added: “UNISON is pleased to have been part of the process that has helped make the living wage a reality for these workers.

“Now it’s over to the other energy companies who have yet to make the living wage grade to follow the good example being set today, and give their staff a decent pay rise too.”