A BRADFORD workforce is set to benefit from a rise in wages with every employee to earn at least £12 per hour.

First Bus, which has a depot in the city, will become a Real Living Wage (RLW) employer from April 1 of this year.

The rise in the wage commitment will benefit 245 colleagues in six depots operating services in its West and North Yorkshire region, two in Leeds together with Bradford, Halifax, Huddersfield and York.

Once accredited, First Bus will become the UK’s largest national bus operator to make this commitment.

The move means that 1,300 colleagues across the UK will benefit from a rise in wages.

These colleagues are spread across the UK business in various roles and will include workers employed through third party contractors.

A spokesperson for the company said: "Today’s announcement is the latest step change as part of the ongoing business transformation at First Bus, which is putting colleagues and customers at the heart of everything it does."

The RLW is calculated annually and set independently by the Living Wage Foundation. It is based on actual living costs rather than the median earnings calculations used for NLW. It is applicable to workers aged 18+ and is currently £12.00 per hour.

A spokesperson for the company added: "First Bus will go above and beyond to include its apprentices, by raising their wages to the RLW level over the next eighteen months.

"This move recognises the value it places on a diverse and inclusive apprenticeship population, as the RLW accreditation does not require employers to do this."

First Bus Managing Director, Janette Bell, said: “We are delighted to be working with the Living Wage Foundation and look forward to achieving our real Living Wage commitment.

"I am thrilled this will positively impact 1,300 of our colleagues with a pay rise from April 1 and that we are once again demonstrating to our people and the market that we care.

“Engaged employees encourage customers to travel more often. So, by treating our employees well, we are also helping to achieve our mission to get people out of their cars and onto the bus.

“We want First Bus to be a place where our people feel welcome, can be their true selves and succeed.

"It is vital that we do all we can to support our colleagues, and this is another important step in our transformation journey.”