BrewDog staff pay offer turns sour

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BrewDog bar staff in the UK will see their ‘Real’ living hourly rate stop from April this year.

Unite Hospitality union made the public aware of the move after publishing a post on their X (formerly Twitter) page yesterday (10/01) which included a picture of a letter it claims was sent from BrewDog bosses to the company’s bar crew.

This revelation has sparked a fury of debate on X, with some users threatening to stop using BrewDog products.

The union’s post read: “BrewDog have written to their workers telling them that they will no longer be paid the *real* living wage from April with the rate being removed for new starts with immediate effect.”

View of the bar at the Brewdog pub in Edinburgh. Pic Credit to Bernt Rostad – BrewDog Edinburgh | View of the bar at BrewDog Edinburgh. | Bernt Rostad | Flickr

The letter from Brewdog states: “From January 3rd this year, new members of staff will be hired on the UK Governments National Living Wage, which currently stands at £10.42 an hour. All current staff rates will remain unchanged and this has no impact on staff currently employed with us.

The UK government recently announced an increase to the National Living Wage from April 2024. It will rise 9.8% to £11.44 per hour nationally.”

It continued by saying: “From 1st of April 2024 we will be using the new National Living Wage which will rise by nearly 10% as the benchmark to set pay in the UK for hourly paid crew in our bars.”

  • “For those of you working outside of London, you will see your pay increase from £10.90 to £11.44 per hour from the 1st of April.”
  • “Those of you working in London will see no impact to your pay, which will remain at £11.95 per hour.”
  • “All new starter bar crew from the 1st of April will be paid £11.44 per hour.”

The Real living wage has also been increased to £12 per hour outside and £13.15 per hour in London.

This is a higher rate of pay than the National living wage and National minimum wage which the Living Wage Foundation sets for employers every year.

In May 2023, the drinks firm published a Blueprint to show their plans for future growth.

Within this BrewDog say: “Being the best employer in the world is fundamental to everything we believe in.”

The document also states: “We are proud to pay the real living wage, as set annually by the Living Wage Foundation since 2014.”

BrewDog CEO James Watt published the above post on X last night.

He continued by writing: “Since March 2022 we have increased the wages of our UK bar teams by a huge 20.4%, this is well ahead of most industries and almost all of our competitors.”

“With the Real Living Wage increasing by an additional 10% in April 2024, we could not implement this on top of all the other amazing things we do for our people.”

Unite lead organiser for hospitality Bryan Simpson said: “BrewDog have been paying the real living wage since 2015. To withdraw it now, during the most acute cost of living crisis in a generation is outrageous.”

“We are already working with our BrewDog members across the country to collectively challenge this decision.”

The letter uncovered by Unite has led to some bitter comments on the original post by X users.

John said: “Oh well, I think it’s time the general public starts to boycott all BrewDog products with immediate effect.”

Another X user DTagg64 said: “I think I’ve drunk my last BrewDog.”

Do you have any thoughts on this, if so, please leave a comment below.

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3 thoughts on “BrewDog staff pay offer turns sour

  1. Certainly not in keeping with brewdogs perceived public persona. I imagine there will be plenty of other big employers looking to do the same.

  2. Fascinating article. Brewdog hsve some front to say that they are still some of the countries best employeers when they are effectively cutting wages !!! Be interesting to see how workers feel about their wages being cut!

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