A Staffordshire PR agency has given all of its staff a £1,000 pay rise to help with the cost of living crisis.
Stone Junction, based in Stafford, has raised the salary of everyone in the company amid the rising energy, fuel and weekly shopping bills.
The move forms part of the company’s 23k by 2023 initiative which was launched in 2015.
The scheme – which is expected to cost around £3.1 million over five years – will see the starting salary of an entry level job at the agency increase from £16,000 to £23,000 while holiday allowance will rise from 20 to 23 days, plus bank holidays.
The most recent increase will take the starting salary of an account executive to £21,000 a year – this is set to increase by a further £500 in August.
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Richard Stone, managing director of Stone Junction, said: “We have brought forward some of our planned increases to coincide with a time when life will become much more expensive for our team.
“We will push ahead with the others and expect to conclude the project by June next year.
“The leadership team and I are really happy to do this. We don’t think it makes us saints, and we don’t think it’s the right move for every business.
“However, it would have been nice to say we’ve done this in a better economic environment. The UK has suffered from a decade of austerity, global economic uncertainty and political upheaval, leaving real wage growth stagnant.”
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Richard added: “In February, The Food Foundation reported that a million people said they, or someone in their household, went for an entire day without eating because they could not afford or access food.
“Raising the salaries of some middle-class PR people probably won’t make any difference to that statistic. But we want to influence the things we can.
“We are, like most people, 100 per cent behind raising national insurance to fund the NHS. Many of us would happily pay more.
“But the rationale behind the increase in public transport, energy and food costs feels like a fiction, when the balance sheets of the businesses in question are included as part of the equation.”
The latest pay rises came into effect last month, to coincide with the National Insurance increase of 1.25 per cent.