Although, legally, the £7.20 National Living Wage rate is only applicable for employees over 25, Welcome Break said the rate would be paid to all 5,000 employees across its 27 sites.
Welcome Break CEO Rod McKie, whose company's service stations include South Mimms, Michaelwood, Corley, Membury, said the company would be spending an extra £4m for the move. Presently 2,095 employees (42 per cent of the workforce) is aged under 25.
“If you want to attract the best people you need to reward them accordingly, and as such we’ve made the decision to give all of our employees, regardless of age, the National Living Wage," he said.
"We are dedicated to offering dependable jobs to the very best people available, and pride ourselves on ensuring Welcome Break is a great place to work."
McKie said the company was committed to rewarding employee success with more than 85 per cent of its managers promoted internally to their positions.
A report by Resolution Foundation last year estimated that the hospitality industry will see their wage bills increase by 3.4 per cent and cost £13.2m 2020 due to the introduction of the National Living Wage on April 1.