Starbucks today announced two new initiatives as part of its on-going commitment to help its employees, particularly those aged under-25 to tackle the cost of living.
The Home Sweet Loan scheme, developed by Shelter as the Tenancy Deposit Loan Scheme, means that Starbucks will provide an interest-free loan to help employees moving into a new home to pay rental deposits. The scheme is the first of its kind to be launched by a private company in the UK, following the example of government departments and the Co-operative.
Starbucks has also announced plans to extend the National Living Wage to all employees, including those aged under 25 years old. This commitment to the National Living Wage recommendations will increase its basic pay to £7.20 per hour in April 2016 for all employees, including apprentices and more than 4,500 members of staff who are under 25. Going beyond the Government’s recommendations, Starbucks will also pay a London Premium for partners working in the capital.
Kris Engskov, president of Starbucks EMEA said: “We are really proud to be the first private company to implement Shelter’s innovative Tenancy Deposit Loan Scheme. We know the cost of living is a key concern for many, with the average rental deposit in England now is £1,226. And with over half of our partners being under 25 years old, that rent affordability especially is an issue that affects them. These initiatives are two of the ways we are able to support the great people that work with us.”
Shelter chief executive, Campbell Robb, said: “There are now eleven million private renters in England, and as housing costs keep rising, more and more people are struggling to scrape together the deposit needed to rent a home. After successfully launching the scheme with our own staff in 2013, it’s great to see that Starbucks are following suit and helping their staff to move home without worrying about how they’ll cover the cost. This will no doubt encourage other UK employers to follow their example and give renters the helping hand they need.”
Betsy Dillner, director of Generation Rent, who advised Starbucks on the scheme, said: “We applaud Starbucks for taking leadership on helping their employees raise a tenancy deposit and encourage other businesses to do the same. It is increasingly difficult for workers in retail and other industries to access private rented housing when rents are so high. But we can’t rely on the goodwill of employers alone; we hope to see much more action from the government to increase the supply of low-cost homes.”
The initiatives were announced in an update to Starbucks Partners which included the extension of the Starbucks Apprenticeship Programme as well as the retention of the Bean Stock employee share ownership programme.