BrewDog pioneers living wage policy for its staff

James Watt and Martin Dickie announce BrewDog as a Living Wage employer.
James Watt and Martin Dickie announce BrewDog as a Living Wage employer.

Scotland’s largest independent brewery, BrewDog has announced the introduction of a pioneering living wage policy for its UK staff.

Effective immediately, BrewDog has introduced a written company policy ensuring all its UK employees – currently 314 – receive at least the recognised living wage calculated for their location.

Rather than following legal minimum wage limits, the new policy will instead focus on what supports a suitable standard of living for staff.

The minimum wage in the UK is currently £6.31 per hour for workers aged 21 years or over, and just £5.03 per hour for workers aged 18 to 20 inclusive. The living wage is £1.34 per hour higher than this, at £7.65 per hour (£8.80 an hour in London). Over a 40-hour working week, employees earning a living wage in the UK are paid £53.60 more than those paid the national minimum wage.

The former Broch firm currently operates 17 bars in the UK, including four in London. The brewery has also opened five international bars in Tokyo, Sao Paulo, Florence, Stockholm and Gothenburg. The brewer has plans to launch bars in Liverpool, Brighton, Rome, Bologna, Helsinki and Berlin in the coming months.

In April, BrewDog also opened its first off-licence, BottleDog in Kings Cross, London, and plans to open a series of additional locations this year. In addition, ‘Dog eat Dog’ will become BrewDog’s first craft beer restaurant in Islington, London, later this year. Over the last five years, BrewDog has experienced an average annual growth of 285%, making it the fastest growing food and drinks company in the UK.

Commenting on the new wage structure, James Watt, cofounder at BrewDog, said: “BrewDog is an eclectic collective of passionate people committed to great craft beer.

“All of them, from our talented brewers to our awesome bar staff, are integral to our success and growth so we wanted to reward their passion and dedication by guaranteeing a fair wage for all. All of our staff will receive a wage that will afford them a good standard of living wherever they might be located.

“We want this to be a wake-up call for employers, especially in the hospitality industry. What should be a respected profession is often still regarded as a university stop gap.

“No other bar division has ever looked beyond legal minimum wages or legislative parameters in committing to salary levels for staff. But we want this to provide a call to arms for the industry to pick up its feet and set new standards.”

“We have always done things differently at BrewDog, and our living wage pledge is just one part of a commitment to rewarding our amazing teams, from the brewery to bars, and from bottle shops to restaurants,” he added.