Unite, the trade union for UK bank workers, welcomes the announcement that Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) has become an accredited Living Wage employer.
Set by the Living Wage Foundation, the Living Wage is £8.25 an hour nationwide, and £9.40 an hour for those in London.
Unite welcomes LBG's promise to extend the Living Wage to temporary and agency staff employed by third-parties. Across the finance industry the increased use of third-party employers is all too often used to hold down wages.
LBG has pledged that all staff employed by third-parties will be timetabled for a gradual increase so that full accreditation will be achieved by 2018. Unite will work with LBG and the Living Wage Foundation to monitor progress to ensure these workers are paid at least the Living Wage as soon as possible.
Stuart Powell, chair of Unite in LBG national company committee, said: "Today's accreditation is a very welcome commitment by the LBG to pay all colleagues, both directly and in-directly employed, at least the Living Wage.
"This is a step that Unite has been campaigning for across the finance industry, because while it's a common myth that we are all 'millionaire bankers', the truth is that massive disparities remain between the highest and lowest earners.
"By adopting the Living Wage LBG is undertaking a commitment to provide decent jobs that pay a fair wage and reward those who work to make the bank a success. We will work with LBG to ensure this promise is kept.
"It is especially important that the bank has committed to the Living Wage for those employed by third-parties, which includes agencies and suppliers. Unite is opposed to a 'two tier' workforce. We campaign for agency workers to be treated fairly and rewarded with secure jobs and a genuine stake in the industry."
The Living Wage, which is supported by a growing number of trade unions and employers, is different to the so-called 'National Living Wage', which is being introduced by the government. The Living Wage is set by the Living Wage Foundation to reflect the growing cost of living. However, the government's 'National Living Wage' has been roundly criticised by experts including the Resolution Foundation, local councils and trade unions, which have described it as a 'con trick.' Unite commends LBG for not cynically adopting this pale-imitation, but instead committing to a genuine wage increase.