Following a “strong financial performance”, the Stoke on Trent-based tile retailer has announced it will pay all of its employees the minimum living wage from September 1.
Explaining the decision to increase its workers’ pay, the company said it was part of the firm’s commitment to invest in its workforce, as part of a rapid growth strategy, which has seen the Tile Mountain Group acquire a number of other tile companies since late 2018.
Unlike the national minimum wage, the living wage is an informal benchmark, not a legally enforceable minimum level of pay.
Whilst the national minimum wage is set by the business secretary each year on the advice of the Low Pay Commission and is enforced by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), the national living wage is calculated by the Centre for Research in Social Policy at Loughborough University on the understanding that these are the minimum pay rates needed to let workers lead a decent life.
Accredited Living Wage Employers must currently pay workers £9 an hour outside London and £10.55 in London, to help enable workers to reach a minimum acceptable living standard. This is above the current national monimum wage of £8.21 for workers aged over 25.
The analysis uses the MIS budgets to calculate minimum weekly living costs for different household types. This information is combined with data on housing and childcare costs (averaged for different parts of the country) to produce a single living wage figure outside London and another to cover Londoners’ higher costs
Tile Mountain managing director Jeremy Harris said: “Over the past 12 months Tile Mountain has enjoyed a sustained period of financial success and, as a result, we have been able to pursue our expansion strategy and acquire a number of businesses in order to grow the group.
“Our strong financial performance is due in part to the continued hard work of the teams both here at Tile Mountain HQ and our showrooms in Tunstall and Stockport; the endeavours of whom have increased services levels and sales across the business and have, undoubtedly, contributed to the strong performance we, as a company, have enjoyed. Tile Mountain has gone from strength to strength and we believe that [continuing] to develop and incentivise our workforce will help us grow even further.”
The wage increase - which could bag employees working 40-hour weeks up to £1,643.20 extra a year - will mainly benefit warehouse and call-centre staff based at the firm’s Tunstall headquarters. Customer services advisor, Leighanne Farrand, said: “This is a great move by the company, as it means that our effort is being recognised and rewarded. As far as I’m aware, a lot of other local employers do not offer this wage for similar roles, so it’s good to see Tile Mountain encouraging loyalty and providing a fair wage for employees.”