Updates from the Living Wage Foundation

New Research to support the business case for paying the Living Wage in SMEs

'Putting the Living Wage to Work: Strategies and Practices in Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs)'

New research by Middlesex University London and the University of Liverpool and funded by the Barrow Cadbury Trust has shown the clear business case for the Living Wage, with small business that pay the Living Wage experiencing fewer employee disputes, an increase in productivity and staff motivation and a reputational and corporate brand advantage over competitors. 

Key findings from the report include: 

  • 72% of respondents said they saw a positive effect on their brand reputation after paying the Living Wage;
  • 60% saw a positive effect on manager/employee relations;
  • 43% said employee morale and productivity improved;
  • 77% of respondents said they paid the Living Wage because it was in line with their company values;
  • 15% said paying the Living Wage added more than 10% to the wage bill many more (40%) said that it had not done so. 

Small and medium enterprises make up over half of the over 2,800 employers across the UK who have signed up voluntarily to pay the Living Wage, currently £9.40 for London and £8.25 in the rest of the UK.

Katherine Chapman Director of the Living Wage Foundation said:

This report is excellent news for small businesses and the people that work for them. It shows yet again that paying the real Living Wage, which goes beyond the statutory minimum, not only ensures that people earn enough to meet their costs of living but brings real business benefits for small employers through improved productivity and staff retention. As we lead up to this year’s Living Wage Week which begins on October 31st I hope this will encourage even more small and medium sized employers to join our movement to voluntarily pay the real Living Wage.

Co-author of the report, Dr Andrea Werner from Middlesex University, said:

Our research shows that small businesses can afford to pay the Living Wage. It can be done and the benefits make economic sense. Respondents who took part in our study told us how much they benefited from paying the Living Wage in terms of brand reputation, employee retention and increased staff productivity and motivation. It’s a definite win for these businesses.

The full report can be found at: http://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/20728/1/Putting%20the%20Living%20Wage%20to%20Work.pdf

7th October 2016
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