Business should go beyond budget's national Living Wage


UK companies should go beyond the new National Living Wage announced in the Budget yesterday. This is the view of the Abbeyfield Society, which became the first national care organisation to pay the Living Wage in April 2014.

We are a Living Wage Employer"In all the harrumphing from employers about the Budget’s National Living Wage, it is worth pointing out that some of us think the Chancellor has done absolutely the right thing,” said Natasha Singarayer, Chief Executive of Abbeyfield. "In fact, I think he could have gone further.

"It took some courage when my own organisation decided to pay the Living Wage back in April 2014.  We knew in our hearts that it was the right thing to do, but also understood that as an employer of 1500 people that it would add to our costs.

"Fifteen months on and I am pleased to report that paying the Living Wage has reaped rewards for our charity in terms of reduced staff turnover, greater staff satisfaction and an even greater commitment to the older people who live with us.

"The care sector suffers from being seen as a low wage employer.  As a result, many people will not consider care as a rewarding career.  Until we pay people decently, that will never change."

Singarayer added, "I have to say that my only regret with the Budget measure is that it didn’t go further by matching the Living Wage Foundation's rates of £7.85 an hour nationally and £9.15 in London.  £7.20 is start, but I’d urge employers to bite the bullet and go further.  Decent pay is a prerequisite to productivity and in the care sector it underpins our ability to ensure that older people get the excellent support they deserve."

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