The Living Wage Foundation has recently announced that this year, the adjusted Living Wage rate for 2022/2023 will be published early, to mitigate some of the financial strain that the unprecedented cost of living crisis is causing for families across the UK. The new wage rates will be announced on Thursday 22nd September.
What is the Real Living Wage?
The real Living Wage is an alternative pay rate, voluntarily provided by over 10,000 UK businesses, who believe that employees and their families deserve financial compensation that covers their everyday needs, and more accurately reflects the increasing cost of living. Calculated and adjusted annually, the real Living Wage campaign has resulted in over 300,000 employees receiving a pay rise and accredited companies include large household names from a variety of industry types, such as IKEA, Aviva, Burberry and Nationwide Building Society.
How did it begin?
The Living Wage Foundation began in East London as an organisation that brought local establishments and institutions together to discuss issues facing the community. A repeated topic of discussion in these meetings concerned workers struggling to support their families on a low income, often working multiple jobs, and still not being able to reliably make ends meet. Throughout the early 2000’s, the Living Wage campaign held rallies, concerts and marches and called on businesses to pay both their employees and out-sourced workers (e.g. cleaners, security etc..) a fair working wage. East London hospitals, schools and local firms became some of the first to increase worker wages. In 2011, the Living Wage rate developed into a national movement and with it, the Living Wage Foundation was established to celebrate companies that chose to pay more than the legal minimum.
Why pay the Real Living wage?
Providing employees and their families with increased security and stability, for most companies, is enough of an incentive on its own. However, there are other advantages to becoming accredited and below are some of the top benefits that real Living Wage aligned companies report experiencing:
A happy workforce is a motivated workforce.
Accredited companies report a happier, more motivated workforce. It’s no surprise that when employees feel valued and are receiving fairer compensation for their time, they are more likely to go the extra mile, take on overtime and perform better in their roles. Companies have also found that, when paying the real Living Wage, relationships between managers and colleagues improve, fostering positive working environments.
Hold on to your investment.
Across all industries, the competition to hire and retain good personnel is fiercer than ever, compounded by the fall-out from Brexit and the increasing number of businesses offering hybrid and remote working options. Offering an enhanced wage increases the attractiveness of an opportunity to prospective employees and motivates existing team members, resulting in people being more likely to join and less likely to leave.
Stand out from the crowd
There are many ways in which a company can make job opportunities more attractive to high-quality job seekers, whether it’s flexible working arrangements, a strong benefits package or good career prospects. While all these things form part of a strong overall reward package, a cycle-to-work scheme is not particularly useful if the wage isn’t sufficient to cover the costs of living in the local area. If a business wants to hire the best possible candidates, it should aim provide the best possible salary. 64% of accredited companies said that paying the real Living Wage helped them to differentiate themselves within their industry sector.
Empower your employees.
The ability to worry less about affording the basics allows more time to focus on family, friends and pursuit of passions, reducing stress and improving mental health and well-being. Happier, healthier colleagues are more engaged, energetic and productive within the workplace. This has an additional ‘knock-on’ effect in reducing absence rates, as colleagues who are better-taken care of are far less likely to take sick leave or require mental health support days.
Reputation is everything.
Customers vote with their feet, selecting companies that align with their values, meaning reputation can make a big difference to the bottom line. Offering an enhanced wage to workers is proof of a company’s commitment to long-term investment in people, and a reliable signifier of the ethical, forward-thinking nature of a business. This in turn builds trust with customers, increasing the prospect of repeat business.
Innovation is essential to successfully compete in the modern corporate world. Having a team that isn’t burdened with the stress of making ends meet, helps to promote a collaborative environment. Contented colleagues are far more inclined to actively seek out ways to work smarter and save time and money.
How does the real Living Wage work?
The real Living Wage, unlike the Government living/minimum wage, is independently calculated based on the actual cost of living, taking into account factors such as food, rent and, more importantly than ever, fuel costs. Additionally, it addresses the economic disparity between London and the rest of the UK, allowing for a separate, higher pay rate for those living in the capital.
To become accredited with the real Living Wage Foundation, a business must be paying all workers (over 18) an increased hourly salary. The wage is reviewed and adjusted annually, typically being announced in November, with implementation encouraged as quickly as practical, but certainly by a deadline of the following May.
MAR and the real Living Wage
MAR FM has been a recognised real Living Wage service provider for more than 8 years. This means that in addition to paying our direct employees an increased wage, we discuss the benefits of the programme with both our existing and potential new clients. Should they choose to adopt the real Living Wage, we work in close consultation with them, holding transparent annual reviews, encouraging open dialogue and allowing for a flexible and straightforward adjustment process.
Facilities Management is an industry in which employees have historically struggled to obtain satisfactory levels of pay. MAR’s ethos is that our people are our greatest asset and all employees, no matter what role, should be fairly compensated for their commitment.
We actively encourage our clients, wherever financially viable, to pay at least the real Living Wage rate. Which allows us to provide a consistently high level of service, without compromising on quality.
You can find out more about the real Living Wage at www.livingwage.org.uk
To discuss Facilities Management requirements, including commercial cleaning, M&E maintenance, Security and Front of House, Grounds Maintenance and Waste Management, contact us using the link below.