The new guidance – which outlines the practicalities and benefits of paying the real Living Wage – comes at a time when the vital contribution of many low-paid workers has come to the fore.
According to research from the Living Wage Foundation, ahead of the COVID-19 pandemic, more than five million people in the UK were in low-paid and insecure work – with many of those in roles, such as cleaning, that have proved vital throughout the crisis.
The new guidance outlines the crucial work that Recognised Service Providers and Living Wage Employers are doing to tackle low pay, reinforced by the testimonies of individual workers who have benefitted, and evidence from organisations that are going further to champion the real Living Wage. It is designed to help IWFM members make the business case for fair wages by sharing the evidence showing the crucial link between higher rates of pay and improved service delivery and performance.
Linda Hausmanis, CEO of IWFM said, “Our profession has long recognised the contributions of lower-paid occupations, such as cleaners and security guards, not just in keeping buildings – and their occupants – safe and healthy, but also in keeping society and the economy in working order.
“At IWFM, we believe it is only right that people are paid a fair wage for a day’s work, and we are already promoting this as an accredited Living Wage Employer. We are looking forward to working with members, alongside the Living Wage Foundation, to make the business and ethical case for fair wages.
“We understand these are challenging times with bottom lines under stress, but it is also a time when many contracts are likely to be renegotiated. This is our chance to reassess how we do things, acknowledge the longer-term benefits of better pay to build back better and help create a fairer society.”
Katherine Chapman, Director of the Living Wage Foundation said, “The UK’s outsourcing and FM sectors remain two of the country’s most important industries, employing one in 10 of all UK workers, and accounting for around 7% of UK GDP.
“However, despite the size and significant reach of these sectors, like many others, they struggle to deliver a real Living Wage to workers that covers the cost of living whilst maintaining their competitive and commercial viability.
“Working with IWFM to produce this guidance alongside our Recognised Service Providers scheme will provide more organisations with the tools required to pay their people a fair wage.”