For us, paying a wage our staff can live a decent life on is simply the right thing to do. Like lots of other Brighton employers, we were very happy to be part of the local Living Wage campaign so we could be told, and updated on, what the level of a ‘living wage’ really is in our city and show our employees that we care about and value them. It isn’t easy for lots of businesses to be able to be part of this scheme so we’re super excited to have been able to achieve this.
What is the Living Wage Scheme?
The campaign to instigate a living wage for workers began in 2001 when a group in London who came to be called Citizens UK began making waves when they realised there were people in London working two full time minimum wage jobs and still struggling to afford necessities. A series of successful campaigns led to the forming of the Living Wage Unit in 2005 to work out how much people in London really needed to live to a decent standard. They worked with researchers to establish a MIS (minimum income standard) and by 2011, Citizens UK had established the Living Wage Foundation and Living Wage Employers mark to encourage employers all over the country to pay their staff a decent wage above the government set minimum. The campaign for a Living Wage in Brighton began in 2012 and now 654 businesses (including us, hurray!) have committed to paying the established Living Wage which currently stands at £9.30 an hour.
How do they Calculate the Minimum Income Standard?
What’s so nice about this scheme and the level they set the Living Wage at is the fact that it’s based on the idea of a decent standard of living rather than just surviving. The minimum income standard isn’t based on just eating, paying rent and staying warm, it’s actually based on things people consider important to live a good life. Social participation is a big part of it with costs factored in including a reasonably priced week long holiday once a year, being able to buy birthday/Christmas presents and affording to go out for a meal once in a while. The MIS is calculated based on surveys of ordinary people and what they consider is necessary to live acceptably. Based on this, the Living Wage is worked out by looking at what different types of people, those with children, single people, married couples etc., need to afford the things set out by the MIS.
Why Being Part of this Scheme is so Important to Us
We really appreciate our staff and the work they do for us so it was a no brainer that we wanted to pay them a wage they could live a good life on. However, in an industry as competitive as ours, it has been difficult to achieve this so we worked very hard to find innovative ways we could afford to pay our staff the Living Wage. Through more efficient working practices, a handy time keeping app and very clear sets of standards for our staff to maintain, we managed it and we’re absolutely delighted to see our logo on the list of Brighton businesses offering the Living Wage.
If you would like to hear more about our employment practices (if you are thinking about coming to work for us) or want to know what we offer in terms of cleaning services, please give us a call on 01273 273999 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.