Leading independent energy provider and major Midlands employer, First Utility, announces Living Wage accreditation

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The Living Wage accreditation complements First Utility’s wider commitment as a responsible employer

First Utility logo

First Utility

"Our staff are dedicated and work hard and we believe they should be paid appropriately." - Ian McCaig, CEO, First Utility

First Utility, the UK’s fastest-growing energy provider, and one of Coventry and Warwickshire’s biggest employers, today proudly announced its Living Wage employer accreditation - formalising a policy that has been in operation since the company was formed in 2006. Regardless of whether they are permanent employees, third-party contractors or suppliers, the Living Wage commitment applies to everyone working for the company.

First Utility has grown rapidly in the last few years by helping hundreds of thousands of households save significantly on their energy spend. It now employs more than 1,000 staff, with 100 additional hires planned by the end of 2015, including a dedicated customer service centre in Coventry which is home to 600 people.

First Utility’s support for the Living Wage is just part of its continued efforts to offer fair working conditions. The company is also fully committed to providing best in class training, career development, and is firmly opposed to zero hour contracts. Furthermore, the company supports the POWERful Women initiative which aims to encourage and promote more women into leadership positions in the UK’s energy sector.

Ian McCaig, CEO, First Utility, said:
“We’ve long been proud to offer our employees the National Living Wage – it not only reflects our commitment to being a good company to work for, but also ensures that we have the best team in place to provide a great experience for our customers. Our staff are dedicated and work hard and we believe they should be paid appropriately.”

Sarah Vero, Director, Living Wage Foundation, said:
“We are delighted to accredit First Utility as a Living Wage employer. The Living Wage is now a truly UK wide movement and recognised as a mark of responsible business. The accreditation of First Utility helps grow the Living Wage into the consumer arena. As more independent retailers and services become Living Wage employers, the public can start to show their support for these businesses through their purchasing decisions. We hope other energy suppliers will follow their lead.”

An independent study[1] examining the business benefits of implementing a Living Wage policy found that more than 80% of employers believe the Living Wage enhanced the quality of their staff performance, and absences fell by approximately 25%. A further 70% of employers feel that the Living Wage had increased consumer awareness of their organisation’s commitment to be an ethical employer.

Notes to Editors

About First Utility
First Utility is the UK’s fastest growing and largest independent energy supplier. It supplies gas and electricity to more than 850,000 customers throughout the UK and is committed to helping them reduce their energy bills by offering cheaper tariffs, helping customers use less energy through the use of innovative technology and campaigning for industry change. First Utility also donates 1% of its profits each year to the First Utility Foundation, an independent charitable organisation with a goal to improve the lives of vulnerable families and individuals across the UK.

About the Living Wage Foundation
The Living Wage is an hourly rate set independently and updated annually. The Living Wage is calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK. Employers choose to pay the Living Wage on a voluntary basis. The Living Wage enjoys cross party support.

The London Living Wage is currently £9.15 per hour. This figure is set annually by the Greater London Authority and covers all boroughs in Greater London. The UK Living Wage for outside of London is currently £7.85 per hour. This figure is set annually by the Centre for Research in Social Policy at Loughborough University. The Living Wage Foundation recognises and celebrates the leadership shown by Living Wage employers across the UK. There are currently over 1,800 accredited employers. We are an initiative of Citizens UK. We believe that work should be the surest way out of poverty.

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Anna Pank
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