April marks both Stress Awareness Month and the time of year when the government’s national living wage is raised. Although the timing may be coincidental, we believe that rewarding colleagues with fair pay is intrinsic to their wellbeing. After all, receiving a better wage results in less stress when it comes to paying the bills!
This year, the government’s national living wage increased to £8.21 for workers over 25, providing a welcome boost for those on low pay. However, research by the Living Wage Foundation, reveals there is a gap of £1,540.50 a year between the new government minimum and the Real Living Wage, based on what employees and their families need to get by. What’s more, it doesn’t take into account the financial commitments that people aged 18 – 24 may have either.
At Facilicom, we are passionate about ensuring our colleagues receive fair pay. We believe that people who are willing to work hard for their wages should be rewarded sufficiently – so that they can live, enjoy life and support their families, without stress. That’s why we are strong supporters of the Living Wage movement. Indeed, Facilicom helped to establish the Living Wage Foundation Recognised Service Provider scheme and is proud to be an active part of the Service Provider Leadership Group. Our security business, Trigion, was also the first national security provider to sign up to the scheme back in 2013.
Over 5,000 responsible employers have gone beyond the government minimum and committed to pay the Real Living Wage to employees aged 18+. We also know that some businesses pay fair wage levels already without seeking the official accreditation. We highly advocate joining – it is not difficult and by doing so, companies can reap the benefits of visibly being a responsible employer, help the Foundation to spread awareness, and encourage other companies to join the movement.
There are clear business benefits too. In return for a fair wage, we have seen low levels of absenteeism, increased staff retention and high levels of job satisfaction, which in turn has led to better teamwork, service provision and greater client satisfaction.
The government’s national living wage is, of course, a positive step forward. However, in an industry where so many people are employed on low pay, we need to see more companies play their part in tackling in-work poverty, and commit to paying a fair wage that truly covers the cost of living. Join the movement today for the Real Living Wage today!
Jan Hein Hemke.
Managing Director at Facilicom UK & Ireland