The Living Wage Employer Experience

Edmund Heery, David Nash, Deborah Hann
Publication focus
Business benefits
good for business, business benefits

In the six years following the creation of the Living Wage Foundation in 2011 over 3000 employers have gained accreditation by agreeing to pay the Living Wage to directly employed staff and to the employees of contractors. The real Living Wage is an independently calculated hourly rate of pay that is based on what it costs to live in London and the UK. Accredited Living Wage employers directly employ 1.35 million employees, of which about 150,000 have benefited directly. The Living Wage has also had a further indirect impact beyond these 3000 employers, with numerous other organizations in both the private and public sector adopting the Living Wage for their directly employed staff. In addition, the Living Wage has influenced government policy, most notably with the 2015 announcement of the National Living Wage, a higher statutory minimum rate of pay for workers aged 25 and over. This report presents the findings of new research that examines the experience of those organizations which have chosen to become accredited Living Wage employers.

The report outlines the motivations behind the decision to become accredited, the extent and nature of supporting changes that employers have introduced and the benefits and challenges that accreditation has brought.