Connect with us

Bussiness

Anas Sarwar’s family business will have to pay living wage

Published

on

BBC Anas Sarwar on the Sunday ShowBBC

Anas Sarwar conceded not all staff at the firm received the national living wage

Anas Sarwar has insisted Labour plans for all workers to be paid a “genuine living wage” will apply to all businesses – including his own family’s.

The party wants to introduce new minimum rates of pay linked to the cost of living as part of its “new deal for workers”.

The Scottish Labour leader said staff at United Wholesale Scotland had experienced “significant increases” in their pay packets, but not all employees received the current “real living wage”.

Mr Sarwar said the firm, with which he has no direct involvement, would have to comply with the rules if his party is voted in to office at Westminster on 4 July.

The real living wage hourly rate advocated by the Living Wage Foundation is currently set at £12 across the country and £13.15 in London.

That is 56p more than the current national minimum wage – introduced by Labour as part of their 1997 election manifesto.

Labour has not set out precisely what rate it would introduce but it backs a “minimum wage taking account of the cost of living”.

Mr Sarwar waived his right to benefit from his family’s firm in 2017 after becoming an MSP.

The wholesaler was founded by his father and, as of 2017, employed 250 people at outlets across the west of Scotland.

He confirmed not all staff at the firm were paid the Living Wage Foundation’s real living wage rate, but said that they would receive a cost of living-linked rate of pay if Sir Keir Starmer becomes prime minister.

Google United WholesaleGoogle

United Wholesale was founded by Mr Sarwar’s father

He told BBC’s The Sunday Show: “They will have to do what everyone will have to do which is comply with the new deal for working people.

“I don’t believe that every single staff member is on the real living wage but I know there have been significant increases in the wage after negotiations with Usdaw, their trade union.

“Every business, including that one, will have to comply with the new deal for working people which will deliver a genuine living wage right across the country.”

Mr Sarwar denied the plans would result in job losses as a result of businesses struggling to meet increases in pay.

Labour’s “new deal for working people,” would also ban zero-hour contracts.

Mr Sarwar said the plans would help to boost incomes for workers, creating prosperity among businesses with staff having more to spend.

He said: “We need to change the balance of rights for working people.

“There is no cost to the taxpayer. If you talk to businesses all over the country, they too believe it will have a net positive in terms of driving up productivity, get more economic activity up and deliver for their workers and workers who aren’t having to struggle to make ends meet.

“It will not cost jobs. When we look at the election in 1997, the scaremongering then was that we were going to cause hundreds of thousands of jobs across the country.

“We are hearing the same again from Stephen Flynn and the Tories.”

Mr Flynn, the SNP’s Westminster leader, accused Sarwar of a “do as we say, not as we do” policy.

“The family firm *do not* pay all staff the real living wage,” he wrote on X.

“No wonder Labour are watering down their promises on workers rights.”

Continue Reading