Employers urged to implement living wage

Ninety one per cent of employers are prepared to pay the living wage – but only a fraction currently do so

Employers urged to implement living wage
A leading economic researcher has urged employers to adopt the living wage, saying it’s a business-savvy decision but also the right thing to do.

“Corporate visions are great for websites and for glossy marketing collateral (but) we need to walk the talk,” said BERL chief economist Dr Ganesh Nana.

Nana made the comments at the organisation’s 60th anniversary celebrations, where he also announced BERL had itself become a living wage employer.

“We applied because, yes, it is closely aligned with our vision and yes, because we want to walk the talk against a low-wage, low-skill business model,” he told the guests.

“And yes, it’s good corporate citizen behaviour but, primarily and most importantly, it is the right thing to do.”

Nana also pointed to a recent Mood of the Boardroom study which indicated that 91 per cent of respondents were prepared to pay the living wage – yet only a fraction currently do so.

“Stop waiting for others to take the lead,” he urged. “Walk the talk and commit to a living wage business and a high wage economy.”

Annie Newman is the national convenor for the Living Wage Movement – she told HRD that while compensation costs go up for employers who adopt the pay scheme, the benefits far outweigh the negatives.

“Employers find there is better recruitment and retention, that there are higher levels of productivity, that there are more stable workforces and there is higher moral so there is a lot of very strong evidence around those benefits to employers,” she said.

Related stories:
Living wage gets latest political backer
Unions criticise “inadequate” wage hike

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