September 24, 2015 Opportunity

Starbucks UK Announces Initiatives to Help Partners with Cost of Living

Home Sweet Loan programme, with support from Generation Rent and Shelter, will help pay rental deposits for Starbucks partners (employees) 

Extends National Living Wage to all partners regardless of age

Starbucks UK is announcing two new initiatives as part of its on-going commitment to help partners, particularly those aged under-25, tackle the cost of living.

The Home Sweet Loan programme, developed by Shelter as the Tenancy Deposit Loan Scheme, means that Starbucks will provide an interest-free loan to help partners pay rental deposits when they're moving into a new home. The first-of-its-kind programme is being launched by a private company in the UK, following the example of government departments and the Co-operative.

Starbucks has also announced plans to extend the National Living Wage to all partners, including those aged under the age of 25. This commitment to the National Living Wage recommendations will increase its basic pay to £7.20 per hour in April 2016 for all employees, including apprentices and more than 4,500 members of staff who are under 25. Going beyond the Government’s recommendations, Starbucks will also pay a London Premium for partners working in the capital.  

“We are really proud to be the first private company to implement Shelter’s innovative Tenancy Deposit Loan Scheme,” said Kris Engskov, president of Starbucks EMEA. “We know the cost of living is a key concern for many, with the average rental deposit in England now is £1,226.*  And with over half of our partners being under 25 years old, that rent affordability especially is an issue that affects them.  These initiatives are two of the ways we are able to support the great people that work with us."

“There are now 11 million private renters in England, and as housing costs keep rising, more and more people are struggling to scrape together the deposit needed to rent a home," said Campbell Robb, Shelter chief executive. "After successfully launching the programme with our own staff in 2013, it’s great to see that Starbucks is following suit and helping their staff to move into a home without worrying about how they’ll cover the cost. This will no doubt encourage other UK employers to follow their example and give renters the helping hand they need.”

“We applaud Starbucks for taking leadership on helping their employees raise a tenancy deposit and encourage other businesses to do the same," said Betsy Dillner, director of Generation Rent. "It is increasingly difficult for workers in retail and other industries to access 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.”

The initiatives were announced in an update to Starbucks Partners which included the extension of the Starbucks Apprenticeship Programme as well as the retention of the Bean Stock employee share ownership programme. 


* My Deposits (Q4, 2014) Tenants enjoy quarterly deposit drop

About Starbucks Home Sweet Loan Rental Deposit

The programme is available to Starbucks partners working in company-owned stores who have been with the business for over a year and would like to apply for a loan to help pay their rental deposit when moving into a home. Starbucks will loan a maximum amount of one month’s wages, paid within four weeks of application, to be repaid over twelve months.

About the National Living Wage

Starbucks is committed to supporting the National Living Wage recommendations by increasing the basic salary to £7.20 per hour. Barista pay will move to £7.20 per hour from April and supervisor pay will move to £8.72 per hour (The current base pay for a  Barista is £6.77 and Supervisor is £8.20). The average hourly rate will be £7.98 per hour. Starbucks will pay a premium to those partners working in London, where costs of living are much higher than in other parts of the country. With over 50% of Starbucks staff under the age of 25, the company is ensuring the increase in salary applies to all employees and will not use lower rates for younger partners or apprentices. Over 4,500 partners in company-owned stores will be impacted by the change. Starbucks is supportive of the government’s longer term ambition of getting £9 per hour.

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