UK
25/09/2015 12:23 BST | Updated 25/09/2015 12:59 BST

Starbucks To Pay Living Wage And Loan Employees Money To Pay Their Rental Deposits

Starbucks has announced that it will help employees who rent properties to pay their deposits by offering an interest-free loan to cover the cost.

The Home Sweet Loan scheme, developed by housing charity Shelter as the Tenancy Deposit Scheme, will be available to employees who have worked at Starbucks for over a year.

The company will then loan them a maximum of one month’s wages, paid within four weeks of application, to be repaid over twelve months.

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Starbucks is going to help its employees with their rental deposits

A report from PwC earlier this year predicted that by 2025 more than half of under-40s will be living in properties owned by private landlords.

Betsy Dillner, Director of Generation Rent, praised the move but said that the government still needed to act to help renters.

She said: “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.”

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Starbucks has also pledged to pay all its workers the National Living Wage.

This will see basic pay increased to £7.20 per hour from April 2016 (with a higher rate for those working in London).

Kris Engskov, president of Starbucks EMEA said: “We know the cost of living is a key concern for many, with the average rental deposit in England now £1,226. And with over half of our partners being under 25 years old, that rent affordability especially is an issue that affects them.”

The news comes a week after Lidl announced that it would become the UK’s first supermarket to pay the living wage.

Ikea became the first UK retailer to commit to paying its staff the living wage in July. The Swedish furniture company is set to roll out the new rates in 2016, meaning more than half of its employees will receive a pay rise.

A recent poll by Nationwide revealed that more than 85% of people think that employers that can afford to pay the living wage should do so.