It seems that every magazine that lands on my desk has an article by retailers moaning about having to pay their staff the new living wage that came in on 1st April. Do bear in mind that this is a lower contrived government figure of £7.20. The actual living wage based on proper research by the Living Wage Foundation is £8.25 for the UK and £9.40 in London. This true Living Wage is reviewed each year by independent academics and announced each year in November. So employers kicking and screaming now at a rate that is £1.05 below the true living wage for the UK and £2.20 too low in London annoys me and various other decent employers.
Across the UK one in five working people earn less than the Living Wage, and much of this is within the retail and hospitality sector. To me I don’t understand why you would not want to pay your staff a true living wage for working for you. In my opinion from an ideological point of view business should not rely on government hand-outs such as family credit to subsidise the poor wages they pay their staff. Apart from that staff that are paid a living wage are more likely to be more productive, less likely to take time off work due to sickness and less likely to look for another job.
There are some retailer chains that you walk in and know very quickly that the staff are unhappy and demotivated and others that are completely different. Guess which ones the staff are paid a living wage or more. In other words as an employer it is to your advantage to pay your people properly – you will get your money back. No brainer! I have always paid my team the true Living Wage and recommend you do too and I know many of you are anyway. No problem in taking on younger people in a training role and paying them less, but pay your adults a proper wage and you will see the fruits in increased profitability.