Furniture retailer Ikea has pledged to pay its UK staff the voluntarily introduced ‘real living wage’ at the higher rate of £8.45 per hour.

Earlier this week, the voluntary living wage in the UK, promoted by the Living Wage Foundation campaign group, was upped by 2.4% – 20p per hour.

The new amount has been decided upon based on the cost of living, and now stands at 17% above the Government minimum wage of £7.20 for over 25s.

The voluntary wage has been set at £9.75 in London to reflect the higher cost of living in the capitol.

For its commitment to paying staff above the Government minimum wage, the foundation has dubbed Ikea a ‘Living Wage Champion’ in the North West of England.

Ikea UK country HR manager Pernille Hagild said: “Introducing the living wage is not only the right thing to do for our co-workers, but it also makes good business sense.

“This is a long-term investment in our people based on our values and our belief that a team with good compensation and working conditions is in a position to provide a great experience to our customers.”

Nearly 3,000 employers, including Ikea, EDF, Curzon Cinemas and Everton Football Club, have committed to pay the voluntary living wage.