Paying the living wage can improve morale AND be good for business

The National Minimum Wage rates increased from 1 October which all employers are obliged to pay to their employees. But what about paying the voluntary living wage instead?

Research by Middlesex University London and the University of Liverpool has found that paying the voluntary living wage improves employee morale and productivity.

The study, ‘Putting the living wage to work’, surveyed 250 small to medium-sized companies and discovered that 72% of respondents saw a positive effect on the organisation’s brand reputation once they started paying the living wage, at £9.40 an hour in London and £8.25 an hour for the rest of the country.

The research also found that:

  • 60% of respondents saw a positive effect on manager and employee relations.
  • 77% of respondents pay the voluntary living wage because it aligns with their organisation’s values.
  • 40% of respondents have found that paying the living wage to staff does not add more than 10% to their wage bill, although 15 % of respondents disagree.

This research shows that not only can small businesses generally afford to pay the living wage, the benefits of doing so are tremendous in terms of brand reputation, employee retention and increased staff productivity and motivation. Is this something you can actively encourage your clients to do?

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