Companies encouraged to pay staff the Living Wage

jpco 12-11-14 Living Wage business breakfast (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-140611-130938001
jpco 12-11-14 Living Wage business breakfast (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-140611-130938001

Organisations from across the town joined Crawley Borough Council, Nestlé, KPMG and the Living Wage Foundation for breakfast to find out more about how to become Living Wage employers.

The event, which was held this morning (November 6), celebrated Living Wage Week and offered insights into the benefits of paying staff and contractors the Living Wage – a minimum of £7.85 per hour – as opposed to simply meeting the minimum wage of £6.50.

Held at Nestlé’s Manor Royal HQ, attendees heard from Living Wage Foundation Director Rhys Moore, Crawley Council Leader Cllr Peter Lamb, Head of Reward at Nestle Jenny Lightfoot and Partner at KPMG David Bywater.

Cllr Peter Lamb described the council’s journey to becoming a Living Wage accredited employer in March this year.

The council is now working towards making Crawley a Living Wage town, offering advice and supporting local businesses through the process. Cllr Lamb said: “We want to see the Living Wage become the norm in Crawley.”

Also speaking at the event, Nestlé’s Jenny Lightfoot said the Living Wage model fit very well with the company’s values.

She added: “As a business we have to create value for our shareholders but we must also create value for our society.”

And KPMG’s David Bywater described some benefits of being a Living Wage employer stating the company had seen better staff retention, improved motivation and less absenteeism.

The Living Wage is an hourly rate set independently and updated annually.

It is calculated according to the basic cost of living using the ‘Minimum Income Standard’ for the UK.

Decisions about what to include in this standard are set by the public - it is a social consensus about what people need to make ends meet.