Berwick business Allan Brothers pledges to pay 'Real Living Wage'

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A window and door manufacturer has pledged to pay its workers the ‘Real Living Wage’ at its Ord Road factory in Berwick.

Allan Brothers, which employs 87 staff, says it is the first manufacturing business in the Berwick area and the third in Northumberland to sign up to this voluntary benchmark.

It is set by the Living Wage Foundation according to the ‘real’ cost of living.

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This means that all the company’s employees will be guaranteed a minimum income of £12 an hour which, based on a 38-hour week, equates to £23,712 a year – whereas the Government’s National Living Wage, currently set at £11.44 an hour, based on the same working week would equate to £22,605 per year and for 18 to 20-year-olds £8.60 per hour, which would be £16,993 a year.

Morten Bach Valsted, managing director of Allan Brothers.Morten Bach Valsted, managing director of Allan Brothers.
Morten Bach Valsted, managing director of Allan Brothers.

The Real Living Wage accreditation is the cornerstone of its wider commitment to improving working conditions and staff development.

Allan Brothers managing director Morten Bach Valsted said: “We’re proud to be an accredited Real Living Wage employer.

“We appreciate that the cost-of-living crisis is causing a great deal of hardship for many people, so we wanted to make sure that our employees are better rewarded for their hard work.”

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He added: “To safeguard job security, we are investing in a training programme that will enable employees to work in different types of positions within the factory.

“In addition, production operatives are being given the opportunity to upgrade their skills. To give one example, all our paint operatives have undertaken a six-month training programme to become highly skilled technical sprayers – which comes with a higher salary.”

The company’s recent investment in new factory machinery is expected to further increase training and development opportunities for staff as well as generate the need to recruit more apprentices in the sales, engineering, and machining departments.

Katherine Chapman, director of the Living Wage Foundation, said: “We’re delighted that Allan Brothers is joining our movement of over 14,000 responsible employers across the UK, who have committed to pay all their workers the only wage rate based on what people actually need to live.”

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