At the end of last year Frome Town Council agreed to commit to continue to pay all staff ‘Living Wage’. The council also agreed that all companies it does business with should be encouraged to become living wage employers, and that in the future this will become a prerequisite of working with Frome Town Council.So what is Living Wage and why is it so important?An hourly rate set independently and updated annually
The Living Wage is calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK
The current UK Living Wage is £7.85 an hour
The current London Living Wage is £9.15 an hour
Employers choose to pay the Living Wage on a voluntary basis,
The Living Wage enjoys cross party support, with public backing from the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition
Paying the Living Wage is good for business, good for the individual and good for society
The Living Wage Employer Mark and Service Provider Recognition Scheme provide an ethical badge for responsible pay
So why is this so important and why does Frome Town Council insist on it?Good for Business
An independent study examining the business benefits of implementing a Living Wage policy in London found that more than 80% of employers believe that the Living Wage had enhanced the quality of the work of their staff, while absenteeism had fallen by approximately 25%.
Two thirds of employers reported a significant impact on recruitment and retention within their organisation. 70% of employers felt that the Living Wage had increased consumer awareness of their organisation’s commitment to be an ethical employer.
Following the adoption of the Living Wage PwC found turnover of contractors fell from 4% to 1%.Good for Families
The Living Wage affords people the opportunity to provide for themselves and their families.
75% of employees reported increases in work quality as a result of receiving the Living Wage
50% of employees felt that the Living Wage had made them more willing to implement changes in their working practices; enabled them to require fewer concessions to effect change; and made them more likely to adopt changes more quickly.Good for Society
The Living Wage campaign was launched in 2001 by parents in East London, who were frustrated that working two minimum wage jobs left no time for family life.
The causes of poverty are complex and in order to improve lives there should be a package of solutions across policy areas. The Living Wage can be part of the solution.