The first ever cleaning company has been accredited as a Living Wage employer, agreeing to pay its staff above the statutory minimum rate.
The Living Wage Foundation praised London-based CTS Cleaning Solutions, saying it was a milestone in its campaign to persuade employers to pay at least £8.80 an hour in the capital, and £7.65 in the rest of the country, well above the minimum wage rate of £6.31.
More than 700 employers now pay the Living Wage, which the foundation says has lifted more than 10,000 families out of poverty.
Peter Cooke, managing director, CTS Cleaning Solutions, said: "I have always made a conscious effort to ensure that all my staff earn what I think is a satisfactory wage for the work they carry out; work that can be physically demanding and consists of early morning or late evening starts and unsociable hours.
"As an ethical employer, this has resulted in me joining the Living Wage Foundation and being recognised as a company that makes sure our staff are paid well above the minimum wage."
Living Wage Foundation director Rhys Moore said: "We are delighted to welcome CTS to the Living Wage movement as the first cleaning company to accredit as a Living Wage employer. "
"Cleaning services jobs are traditionally among some of the lowest paid roles in the country, with many employers opting to peg wages to the lowest rate legally possible, the national minimum wage. "
"The Living Wage Foundation believes that work should be the surest way out of poverty, and the leadership CTS has shown will, we hope, encourage others in this industry to consider how they support low-paid employees.
" The best employers are voluntarily signing up to pay the Living Wage now. The Living Wage is a robust calculation that reflects the real cost of living, rewarding a hard day's work with a fair day's pay. "
A year-long inquiry into low pay and the Living Wage will be published by the Living Wage Commission on Tuesday.