SWINDON-based Nationwide is the first major high street name to become a Principal Partner in the campaign for a Living Wage.

The building society in Pipers Way achieved the new position with the Living Wage Foundation after promising to pay all staff, including contractors and temporary workers, a wage considered reasonable to live on.

Kayleigh Aldred, a temporary worker in one of Nationwide’s customer service teams, is one of the building society’s employees who will benefit most.

The 24-year-old said: “The Living Wage will mean that I get an increase of 24p an hour, which over the course of a month or a year will really add up. “This increase will help me to save and pay off my student loan. Being able to put a little bit of money aside every month for savings will really help in the future because you never know what is going to happen.

“I know that the Living Wage is designed to help people meet the cost of living in the UK and receiving this makes me feel like I’m valued by the society.”

The Living Wage Foundation is the leader in the campaign for employers to offer staff a wage considered reasonable to live on – a minimum of £7.65 an hour or £8.80 for employees in London.

But these figures are more than £1 an hour higher than the national minimum wage of £6.31 an hour.

Alison Robb, the group director at Nationwide, said: “We are hugely proud to become a Principal Partner of the Living Wage Foundation, and we are looking forward to working with the foundation to encourage other employers to sign up. “Nationwide’s Living Wage accreditation shows our commitment to doing the right thing by our people and we are proud to take a leading role in the campaign for fairer pay.”

A recent poll from Nationwide revealed one in 10 people in the UK think they could reasonably live on the minimum wage, while 16 per cent of the population earns less than £950 a month.

When asked what the extra income would be spent on, 51 per cent of people said they would spend it on food and 47 per cent would use it to pay bills.

The survey also found 85 per cent of people think that companies should voluntarily pay their employees the Living Wage if they are able to.

Rhys Moore, the director of the Living Wage Foundation, said: “We are delighted to welcome Nationwide to the Living Wage movement as principal partners of the Living Wage Foundation and accredited employers.

“As the UK’s largest building society, this move brings the Living Wage to high streets across the country, and showcases that the best employers are voluntarily signing up to pay the Living Wage now.”