"Paying the London Living Wage is not only morally right, but makes good business sense too. There are now over 2,200 employees working for companies with contracts from the GLA who are benefitting from the London Living Wage"
The Living Wage Foundation recognises and celebrates the leadership shown by Living Wage employers across the UK. We believe that work should be the surest way out of poverty.
What We Do
The Living Wage Foundation does three things:
We offer accreditation to employers that pay the living wage, or those committed to an agreed timetable of implementation, by awarding the ‘Living Wage Employer’ mark.
We provide advice and support to employers implementing the Living Wage including best practice guides; case studies from leading employers; model procurement frameworks; access to specialist legal and HR advice.
We provide a forum for leading employers to publicly back the Living Wage. We work with Principal Partners who bring financial and strategic support to the work.
The concept of a Living Wage has roots in various cultural, religious and philiosophical traditions.
The modern UK Living Wage Campaign was launched by members of London Citizens in 2001. The founders were parents in the East End of London, who wanted to remain in work, but found that despite working two or more minimum wage jobs they were struggling to make ends meet and were left with no time for family and community life.
The Living Wage is an example of communities, business, campaigners and faith groups coming together to find practical, non-statutory means to address working poverty and strengthen families.
The Living Wage campaign has since grown into a national movement.
Local campaigns began emerging across the UK offering the opportunity to involve many more employers and lift many more thousands of families out of working poverty.
In 2008 the Centre for Research in Social Policy (CRSP) funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation began calculating a UK wide Miniumum Income Standard (MIS) figure. The MIS is an average across the whole of the UK, but does not reflect the variation in the cost of living inside and outside of London.
In 2011 Citizens UK brought together grass roots campaigners and leading employers from across the UK, working closely with colleagues on the Scottish Living Wage Campaign inparticular, to agree a standard model, calculated by the CRSP, for setting the UK Living Wage outside of London.
At the same time, following consultation with campaigners, employers who support the Living Wage and HR specialists, Citizens UK launched the Living Wage Foundation and Living Wage Employer mark.
These new initiatives recognise and celebrate the responsible leadership shown by Living Wage Employers and support employers to incorporate the Living Wage into organisational structures long term.
Since 2001 the campaign has impacted over 45,000 employees and put over £210 million into the pockets of some of the lowest paid workers in the UK.
Paying the Living Wage is a recognised sign of good practice in employment.
The Foundation is supported by six Principal Partners:
"Paid work is the most important route out of poverty, but a substantial number of workers in the capital are still paid wages that are simply not enough to support them and their dependents. As a charitable trust that exists to tackle poverty and inequality in London, we helped establish the Living Wage Foundation in order to persuade other employers that paying a living wage is the right thing to do in order to help lift the working poor of London out of poverty; as a living wage employer ourselves, we would strongly urge other employers to do the same."
- Bharat Mehta, Chief Executive
“For KPMG paying the Living Wage is simply good sense. You don't always need to start from the economic case in order to understand why it should be part of any forward looking sustainability strategy. Consider the social case and the changes in societal expectations over the last ten years and think about what the future might hold. I look forward to the day when the Living Wage brand is as widely known as the Fairtrade brand - and just as widely respected. It is going to come a lot sooner than you might think.”
- Mike Kelly, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility
"It is not just the right thing to do, it makes absolute business sense. It ensures that we attract and retain the best and most motivated people, whether directly employed by us or by others. We want good people and the Living Wage is an excellent way of getting and keeping them."
- Matt Sparkes, Global Head of Corporate Responsibility
“Paying the living wage and bringing the cleaning service in-house has brought dividends to Queen Mary. The college is cleaner, staff feel rewarded and the wider community – both on and off campus – have fully backed the idea.”
- Professor Simon Gaskell, Principal
“We are proud supporters of the new Living Wave Foundation. As experts on the challenges faced by those in work and on low to middle incomes, we’re well aware of the difference the living wage can make to people’s lives. We’re delighted that the new Foundation will spread best practice and provide advice and support to those employers who do choose to implement a living wage, and we hope its take up spreads as a result.”
- Gavin Kelly, Chief Executive
“3.5 million children are growing up in poverty in today's Britain - most of these children live in households where their parents are in work, earning poverty wages. Our commitment to the living wage campaign is based on the simple premise that employers must be a part of the solution to child poverty in our country.”
- Fergus Drake, Director of UK programmes
"Paying the Living Wage makes absolute sense to us as an organisation – it’s part of our aim of being an employer of choice which helps us to protect the long term success of our business. By paying a fair wage we are able to attract and keep the best people. Aviva is proud of its support of the Living Wage foundation."
- Marie Sigsworth, Group CR Director, Aviva plc