Understanding poverty is complex; and whilst income alone does not account for the whole problem, it is a significant part of the picture. 1 in 5 jobs (5.5 million) held by UK employees pays less than the real Living Wage – the rate calculated by the Living Wage Foundation based on how much income households need to afford an acceptable standard of living.
“I was not considered a team player because I did not join in sweepstakes, buy cakes, contribute to birthday presents.”
Money and Mental Health Policy Institute research participant
As living costs continue to rise, more than half of people in poverty live in working households.
Financial difficulties have been found to have a significant impact on employee wellbeing. In fact, Britain’s Healthiest Workplace research shows that someone with financial concerns loses on average six days per year more, in absenteeism and presenteeism, than someone who does not have financial concerns.
It should come as no surprise that employers who pay the real Living Wage or have helped employees manage living costs report a number of business benefits, including reduced absence, improved reputation, retention and staff engagement rates.
Facilities Management company ISS can testify to this – when Operations Manager Sean Farrell first joined the business 10% of staff would leave each year. Since becoming a Living Wage service provider, he has seen this rate dropped to 1.4%. Read more about why ISS decided to increase pay.