Living Wage Week: More focus on the bread line.

  • 3rd November 2016

This week is Living Wage Week, a UK-wide celebration of the Living Wage movement. It is a great opportunity to raise awareness of the need for a real Living Wage that meets the cost of living and celebrate responsible employers that commit to ensuring their staff earn a wage they can live on. The government are still resisting calls from public sector workers the right to fair pay wages making this week even more important. The living wage outside of London is currently set at £8.45 per hour compared to the Government Minimum Wage at £7.20.  

The Living wage foundation is based on the simple idea that a hard day's work deserves a fair day's pay, it was started by a group of parents in East London who; by working two jobs to support their families could not spend any quality time with their children. The basis of the idea is that people working full-time should be able to afford the minimum acceptable standard of living. Any reasonable person would find it hard to argue with that.  

It is important to raise awareness on such matters; more than 5million people are working in casual insecure minimum wage jobs that don't pay enough (Resolution Foundation).  

"Being low paid, and getting stuck there for years on end, creates not only immediate financial pressures, but can permanently affect people's career prospects,” says Resolution Foundation Chief Economist Matthew Whittaker. "A growing rump of low-paid jobs also presents a financial headache for the government because it fails to boost the tax take and raises the benefits bill for working people." 

The number of accredited living wage employees has grown rapidly from 400 to 900 in the last 12 months and the benefits are very clear, with excellent results for staff retention, morale and productivity. Even with the comment economic climate, companies should be looking elsewhere to save money. It is well known that a happy workforce is a more productive workforce and making your employee feel valued is one of the first steps. 

Living Wage Week happens every year in the first week of November.