National Express has become the first private transport group to pay the higher, voluntary Living Wage in the West Midlands. As well as pledging to pay all UK direct employees, the operator will also be ensuring the same for all agency and contracted staff. Its bus division has been paying the wage since 3 January 2016, whilst its UK coach and rail businesses will do so by the end of 2017. The Living Wage is currently £9.40 an hour in London and £8.25 an hour across the rest of the UK, compared to the national minimum wage of £6.70. The new minimum wage premium for over 25s at £7.20 an hour, called the ‘National Living Wage’, will be introduced in April 2016.
National Express Group Chief Executive, Dean Finch, said, ‘Our staff do a great job helping hundreds of thousands of people get to work and school and to see their family and friends every day. We are always looking at what more we can do to recognise this hard work and being a Living Wage employer in the UK testifies to our determination to be the best possible employer.’