Broadland Housing Chief Executive Michael Newey has encouraged all businesses and organisations to consider paying the real Living Wage. Speaking at the Living Wage Foundation‘s 2021 event in Norwich, he said:
The real Living Wage is part of our wider strategy to deliver high levels of staff engagement and as a result deliver a high level of commitment to our tenants and to the organisation. We are a ‘people’ business. We provide people with homes, and our people provide our tenants with the services they require. The quality of our employees is vital to our success. Treating people fairly and with respect is key to our culture and drives that engagement.
Paying our employees a real Living Wage is all about us respecting our staff, ensuring that they are paid properly for the jobs they are doing. It reduces the chances that they will need to turn to benefits to look after their families, and struggle to make ends meet.
Paying people a wage that allows them to have a reasonable standard of living shouldn’t be an optional extra for organisations whether in the public, private or third sector.
If you can’t afford to pay people properly for the job that they do for you – if you need to ask them to apply for in-work benefits because you can’t afford to pay them a real Living Wage, then I believe that trustees, directors, executive teams and shareholders need to ask themselves some difficult questions about their business model.
Michael Newey, Chief Executive, Broadland Housing Association
Broadland Housing was first accredited as a Living Wage Employer in 2016. There are more than 300,000 people working for almost 9,000 real Living Wage Employers throughout the country.
What is the real Living Wage?
The real Living Wage rates are rising to £9.90 across the UK (40p increase), and £11.05 in London (20p increase), supporting workers and families. The Living Wage rates are the only rates independently calculated based on what people need to live on.
Unlike the Government minimum wage (‘National Living Wage’ for over 23s – £8.91 rising to £9.50 in April 2022) the real Living Wage is the only wage rate independently calculated based on rising living costs – including fuel, energy, rent and food. A full-time worker earning the new, real Living Wage would earn £1,930 a year more than a worker earning the current government minimum (NLW). For a worker today that’s the equivalent of 7 months of food bills and more than 5 months’ rent based on average household spending in the UK.
Exciting new developments for the Living Wage campaign
Organised by Aviva plc, Norwich City Council and Future Radio, the Living Wage Week event in Norwich celebrated the historic achievements of the campaign, and the benefits for both employees and employers. There were presentations by Phoenix Events, Future Radio, Aviva and Allan Waters, Leader of the city council. There was also a look ahead to new developments – Living Hours, a Living Pension and Norwich’s plans to become a Real Living Wage City.