Tatry Group are a contract cleaning and security service company which aims to break the mould within the industry by positively impacting customers, employees, society and the environment. They are the first organisation in the sector to progress from being a Recognised Service Provider to a Living Wage Employer. This means Tatry Group have gone from offering a real Living Wage bid alongside every market rate submittal to all prospective and current clients, to only submitting bids which include the Living Wage. Here they talk about their journey through the process.
Tatry Group is the first organisation within our industry to move from a recognised service provider to a Living Wage Employer. Our company has been working closely with the Living Wage Foundation since starting the business and has promoted the benefits of working alongside a fantastic organisation. Ensuring our staff are fairly paid has been a fundamental part of our business and is a huge reason why the business was started the first place.
Our Managing Director, Jonathan, and Business Support Manager, Paulina, have worked in cleaning and security for more than ten years. After experiencing the hardship of working within the industry, including being paid the minimum wage, they decided to start Tatry Group in 2017 to provide their staff with a fair pay rate and a safe, welcoming environment to work in.
Tatry Group is delighted to have achieved such a significant milestone. The business has had the Living Wage Employer accreditation on our agenda for several years and has continuously worked towards paying 100% of our staff the National Living Wage. Previously as an accredited Recognised Service Provider, our teams would provide new clients with the choice of paying the National Living Wage. As a Living Wage Employer, we now quote all our customers with the National Living Wage included.
"We have always wanted to ensure our teams are paid the national living wage; being able to do this in 2022 is a remarkable achievement for the business. I am so grateful to be able to do this for our staff and make positive changes within our industry!
We are proud to achieve this recognition, the cleaning and security industry has a reputation for low pay and poor working conditions.
Tatry Group is proving that not only can you pay fair wages whilst achieving business success, but we have only enjoyed our success as a business because we choose to look after our people."
- Jonathan, Managing Director.
HOW TATRY GROUP ACHIEVED THIS GOAL
The major challenge was that site-based labour makes up for most of the costs and paying the real Living Wage significantly increases the overall cost of the contract.
We're in a low margin industry with many buyers who want value for money, and the cost is a significant factor when choosing a new provider.
Despite these challenges, after our first year in business, in 2018, most our employees were paid at least the real Living Wage.
However, we wanted to do better and become a Living Wage Employer, so we set ourselves two goals:
Goal 1: Only quote for real Living Wage. We gradually increased the percentage of new proposals where we only quoted the real Living Wage instead of the two options until we had reached 100% of new quotes priced at the living wage, which we achieved in 2021.
Goal 2: Increase all current wages to the real Living Wage. We increased the percentage of our employees on real Living Wage by 15% per year until we reached 100% and could become a Living Wage Employer.
We're delighted to say that by late 2021 we had started only to quote the real Living Wage to new potential customers, and by early 2022, we had increased the wages of all our current employees to meet the real Living Wage.
WHY IS PAYING THE LIVING WAGE IMPORTANT
Put simply, it's the right thing to do, even more so for our industry. It is renowned for poor working conditions and paying the minimum wage. We want to support those who work for us; as the cost-of-living rises, we want our staff members to live comfortably and not worry about their financial situation.
We believe paying your staff the real Living Wage brings great success to your organisation. When you choose to pay your team a fair wage, it has a significant impact on the retention of employees and staff are more willing to commit and explore a career within your organisation. Ensuring all staff are paid the real Living Wage means you have a happy workforce with a balanced life, allowing them to excel within your organisation.
The Living Wage Foundation reported that the cost of living increase affects workers more than the pandemic. We highly recommend working with the Living Wage Foundation, whether you choose to be a Recognised Service Provider or a Living Wage Employer, you can really make a difference.
"I have worked in the cleaning industry for many years now. I really enjoy working for Tatry Group; they really treat their staff well. I was over the moon to find out everyone was receiving the real Living Wage.
Being paid the real Living Wage has made a substantial difference to my overall pay. It has allowed me to become more flexible with work and has made a big difference in my personal life. I can now enjoy life a bit more and do the things I love doing."
- Ryan, Cleaning Team.
8th June 2022