After implementing the practice from 1 March, official accreditation was granted by the Foundation on 3 April, with the Rotherham-based print group now fulfilling a pledge to pay all 350 of its staff at a minimum rate in line with the independently calculated living wage.
While the statutory minimum wage, rebranded the 'national living wage' by George Osborne in 2016, stands at £8.21 per hour, the figure that Bluetree and its subsidiaries Instantprint and Route One Print will stick to is a distinct, voluntary rate of pay.
Instantprint head of HR Vicki Russell said: “This is something that we are immensely proud of. We have always said our colleagues are integral to our business and over the past couple of years we have built out our people strategy to ensure that our employee benefits reflect this, such as Bupa healthcare and long service rewards.
“This accreditation is the icing on the cake. I think it will aid our recruitment strategy massively and we have already had really positive feedback from potential candidates at recruitment fairs and assessment days.
“If any other businesses within the industry are thinking about becoming accredited then they shouldn’t hesitate. The accreditation process is not at all complicated and you can start the process by signing up online. If you do make the decision to apply and become accredited, ensure that you work hard to communicate to your workforce what the change is and why you’ve made it.”
Russell said that Bluetree applied for its accreditation online and heard back “within a couple of weeks”. The group spread the news internally by briefing managers, putting up internal posters and writing to every member of staff individually.
The £42m-turnover group has also affirmed its commitment to raise its pay in line with any future increases in the real living wage, which tend to happen annually.
Bluetree continues to push ahead with its growth and advancement plans, having taken on a 45% extension to its floorspace last year which will finish renovations in early 2020, as well as preparing to install the UK’s first Landa S10P Nanographic printing press this year.