Living wage employers more appealing to consumers

Study shows companies that implement the living wage could have a competitive advantage over other organizations.

Employers who are considering implementing the living wage may be swayed by the results of a new survey which suggest doing so could put their company at a competitive advantage.

In a poll of 1,566 adults, the majority – 58 per cent – said they would be more likely to use the goods or services of a company if it is a living wage employer.

The popular consensus was that paying the living wage was “morally the right thing to do” and would have a positive impact on staff happiness, wellbeing and productivity.

Recent minimum wage increases in B.C and Ontario still fall short of a living wage in major cities but anti-poverty advocates say companies that implementing it could see a boost in business while improving the economy and alleviating employees’ financial worries.

With more than 2,500 employees spread over 57 branches, Vancouver City Savings Credit Union, or Vancity, is one of Canada’s largest living-wage employers. Ellen Pekeles, the company’s senior VP of operations, agreed it was the ethical thing for employers to do.

“If both parents in a family are working full-time, their children should not be living in poverty,” she said. “Just as we consider our environmental footprint, it’s our hope that more B.C. employers will consider their social and economic impact and pay their employees a living wage.”

The poll also revealed that 87 per cent of respondents said they believed organizations that can afford to pay the living wage should do so and 75 per cent said employers should be required to reveal whether or not they pay their staff the living wage. 

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