THE Scottish brewer and pub brand BrewDog is to stop paying the Real Living Wage to new employees, according to a union.

A letter posted on social media by Unite the Union shows current workers being told that all new employees will now be paid the minimum wage (which is also known as the National Living Wage).

It reads: “From January 3rd this year, new members of staff will be hired on the UK Government’s National Living Wage which currently stands at £10.42 an hour.

“All current staff rates will remain unchanged, and this has no impact on staff currently employed with us.

“The UK Government recently announced an increase to the National Living Wage from April 2024. It will rise 9.8% to £11.44 per hour nationally.

“From 1st April 2024, we will be using the new National Living Wage which will rise by nearly 10% as the benchmark to set pay in the UK for hourly paid crew in our bars.”

Meanwhile, the independently calculated Real Living Wage currently sits at £12 per hour.

In a blog post from 2019,  the company told of its pride at being a Real Living Wage employer.

It said: “Some companies may baulk at paying the Living Wage because of cost implications, pricing pressures or even the spectre of Brexit that hangs above all our heads – but our experience of the last five years is that by investing in the talented, skilled people who bring their passion and enthusiasm to work, the business case stacks up.

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“Above and beyond this, the ethical reasons for becoming a Living Wage Employer are massively important to us, as they should be to every other company out there.

“The real Living Wage is an independently-calculated rate that ensures workers can meet the cost of living and earn enough to support themselves and their families.

“It goes beyond the government’s Minimum Wage and we have proved over the last half-decade that employers in the food and drink sector who pay their employees fairly in this way can be a driver for growth for our entire industry.”

A spokesperson for trade union Unite Hospitality said: 

"BrewDog have been paying the real living wage since 2015.

"To withdraw it now, during the most acute cost of living crisis in a generation, is outrageous.

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"We are already working with our BrewDog members across the country to collectively challenge this awful decision and force the senior management of the company to do the right thing by the workers who have made them millions."

A BrewDog spokesperson said: “As a result of the changes we’re making – and despite unprecedented challenges in the hospitality sector – our staff outside London will be getting a 4.95% increase in base pay, and crew currently working in London will be paid 4.5% above the National Living Wage.

“We have always been fully committed to doing the best we can for our people, and our benefits package is far more generous than the industry average.

"Last year we gave over £350,000 to our bars team via our unique profit share programme.

"Our team also benefits from a unique bonus scheme which sees all crew members receive an additional £1 an hour for the month for surpassing customer service standards.

"In addition, we offer signature benefits like “pawternity” leave and paid sabbaticals after five years of service.

“We are proud to be one of the Sunday Times Best Places to Work, and we were named a Top UK Employer by the UK Top Employers Institute.”