The living wage is a value supported by the Living Wage Foundation (LWF), which believes the minimum salary should be an amount people can live on comfortably and a true reflection of real and accurate living costs. According to the LWF, it should not be a wage that allows employees to merely survive; therefore, the recent announcement by the Living Wage Foundation revealing that there is to be a 20p increase is great news.
The living wage is supported by almost 3,000 employers across the country and ensures a 3.7 per cent rise for workers. As it runs separately to the government’s national living wage, it is a voluntary pay rate and the rise to £8.45 per hour nationwide is both exciting and encouraging. The increase is even greater within the London area, where it will rise by 35p from £9.40 to £9.75 and make a huge difference to many hard-working families.
Compared with the government’s statutory minimum wage, whereby workers aged 25 and above can expect to earn £7.20, the rise is hugely welcomed.
Among the new employers to commit to the living wage is Everton Football Club. It is only the second Premier League club to show its support, alongside businesses from sectors ranging from insurance to entertainment and even the British Library.
According to Professor Denise Barrett-Baxendale, deputy chief executive and director at Everton FC, the club is committed to maintaining its position as a first-choice employer. By becoming living wage accredited, the club is demonstrating its values and supporting around 700 contractors and 250 casual staff who work within it.
By consulting with staff and stakeholders, the Premier League organisation believe it is demonstrating its appreciation by rewarding employees, treating all colleagues fairly, and promoting loyalty and hard work. The club feels that improving its employees’ quality of life not only benefits the individuals and their families but also the business and surrounding community. The living wage has given the club a welcome opportunity to achieve this.
Katherine Chapman, director of the Living Wage Foundation, revealed that as many as one in five employees earn less than the wage they need to live. It is therefore even more important for influential employers and organisations to show their support and take the extra step beyond the government requirements in helping their staff to earn an amount that covers their everyday living costs.
With a focus on promoting business, the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, believes the increase makes good business sense and hints how it contributes towards raising productivity and staff loyalty. He expects to see the living wage rise to over £10 an hour whilst he is mayor and is appealing for more businesses to join over 1,000 organisations in the capital that already pay their employees the London living wage.
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