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UniLever suppliers to be paid living wage - expert comment

With UniLever announcing plans to ensure that all their suppliers are paid the living wage by 2030, Professor Chris Warhurst from the Warwick Institute for Employment Research comments on their plans.

Professor Warhurst said: "In its previously incarnation as Lever Brothers, UniLever, had a proud history of looking after its workforce. Its decision now to insist that its suppliers pay a living wage to current workers continues that tradition. A real living wage is different to the UK Government’s national living wage in that it is calculated to provide the basic needs of workers, their food and housing costs for example.

"By insisting that its suppliers pay a living wage, UniLever wants to help end in-work poverty, which has become a problem both in the UK and globally. Too many jobs don’t pay enough to lift workers and their families out of poverty, and social exclusion follows.

"Unilever’s decision comes at a time, perhaps surprisingly given the impact of the Covid pandemic, when more employers in the UK are committing to paying a real living wage. The UK’s Living Wage Foundation recently reported that these businesses find that offering a real living wage improves their company’s reputation and acts to motivate and retain their employees.

"UniLever’s decision therefore is grounded in a sound business case but which also has the potential to improve the lives of thousands of workers in the UK and millions worldwide."

21 January 2021


Peter Thorley
Media Relations Manager (Warwick Medical School and Department of Physics)


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