COMMONS

WHSmith called on to pay all workers a fair wage

13 June 2019

Rachel Reeves MP, Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, has called on WHSmith to commit to paying all workers a fair wage by signing up to the National Living Wage Foundation. Correspondence from WHSmith confirmed that the company has not been accredited by the Living Wage Foundation.

In a letter to the BEIS Committee, WHSmith Managing Director Carl Cowling was only able to say “the majority” of staff in stores start on the National Living Wage or National Minimum Wage. WHSmith’s 2018 Annual Report shows that the CEO Stephen Clarke received a total remuneration package of £2.9m and the CFO Robert Moorhead £1.8m.

Chair's comments

Rachel Reeves MP, Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, said:

“While top executives at WHSmith are being rewarded with handsome packages of pay and perks, some staff are not even deemed worthy of being paid the National Living Wage. Such disparities in remuneration are impossible to justify and WHSmith should pledge to pay all workers fairly and sign up to the National Living Wage Foundation.”

Mr Cowling wrote to the Committee following his appearance at an evidence session on the future of the post office network held on 21st May. A full transcript of the hearing is available here.

Further information

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