Living Hours Hits Fifty: The UK Employers Tackling Insecure Work Amid Cost of Living Crisis

50 UK Employers Commit to Support Staff as Inflation Continues to Soar 

  • Over 50 UK employers have committed to provide secure and stable working hours with the Living Wage Foundation’s Living Hours scheme; 

  • Over 45,000 workers stand to benefit from Living Hours measures so far;  

  • Early adopters include major employers like Aviva, Spareroom and Wealthify; 

  • Employer led movement aims to tackle short-shift culture which sees one-third of UK working adults given less than a week’s notice of shifts. 

A movement to tackle insecure work is gathering pace amid the cost-of-living crisis, as the Living Wage Foundation announces 50 UK employers have signed up to provide secure and stable hours to their staff with a Living Hours accreditation.  

Living Hours Employers are challenging the UK’s culture of precarious employment, which sees nearly 1 in 3 working adults facing soaring inflation in jobs that provide less than a week’s notice of shifts [1]. The number and security of hours people work is a key driver of in-work poverty, alongside their rate of pay.  

Living Hours sees employers commit to providing at least 4 weeks’ notice for every shift, with guaranteed payment if shifts are cancelled within this notice period. Living Hours employers also provide a guaranteed minimum of 16 working hours every week (unless the worker requests otherwise), and a contract that accurately reflects hours worked. This commitment extends to regular third party contractors.  

Early adopters of the Living Hours measures include major employers like Aviva, Spareroom, and Wealthify, as well as small and medium-sized businesses across the country. Over 45,000 employees stand to benefit from the measures so far. 

Katherine Chapman, Director of the Living Wage Foundation, said: “We are delighted that we have reached the milestone of 50 accredited Living Hours employers. Accredited Living Hours employers voluntarily commit to provide secure and reliable hours to staff alongside a real Living Wage. At a time when low pay, precarious jobs and double-digit inflation are pushing millions to the financial brink, it’s hugely encouraging that momentum is building behind this scheme to end insecure work.  

Insecure work makes planning a life and a budget almost impossible. With almost one in three working adults in the UK being given less than a week’s notice of shifts, we’re calling on employers to join those who have already stepped up during the cost of living crisis and commit to provide workers with Living Hours alongside a real Living Wage.” 

Andy Russell, CEO, Wealthify commented: “We’re extremely proud to be amongst the early adopters of the Living Hours accreditation, especially at a time when many are facing higher costs in our day-to-day lives. Ensuring fair pay and financial wellbeing among our staff is key to our company culture and has also enabled us to grow materially during a challenging time for the market.” 

Julie Pickersgill, Operations Director of Zixtel said: “As Yorkshire's first accredited living hours employer I strongly believe now is the time to collectively push for change to ensure in-work poverty is eradicated. Since accreditation we've seen warehouse recruitment become easier, higher retention rates, and significant increases to productivity, meaning the benefits of accreditation far outweigh the low implementation costs. As the Living Hours network expands, we are confident other employers will follow suit and join businesses like us who believe; without our people, we have no business.” 

Jennifer Clake, Design and Marketing Assistant at Molke, a Living Hours Employer, said: “Before working at Molke I was in a zero hours contract. At first I thought the flexibility would be beneficial but in reality it was very precarious and I would be asked at a moment's notice to work. As staff, we were never fully clear about our rights and it was an unsustainable for us way to make a living. The security and clarity I get working at Molke has made my life a lot easier. I can make plans with the knowledge they won’t be interrupted and I know exactly what money is coming in each month.” 

[1] Living Wage Foundation, ‘The Living Hours Index’ (2022) 

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