By Issy Petrie, Programme Officer, Living Wage Foundation

Imagine if you could increase staff pay satisfaction by 50%, reduce staff turnover by 40%, and double the percentage of management roles filled internally. Sound too good to be true? Well these statistics show what can happen if you implement the real Living Wage in your business. In this case, it’s BrewDog that has reaped the benefits of taking this significant step.

The movement for a Living Wage started in 2001 with families in East London who campaigned for fair pay. They were tired of working multiple jobs on the minimum wage and failing to make ends meet. They wanted to spend time more time with their children. Since 2001 our movement has grown to nearly 3000 employers- including a third of the FTSE 100- standing up for fair pay.

The real Living Wage is an hourly rate of pay calculated according to the cost of living. Living Wage employers believe that a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay, and at the Living Wage Foundation we campaign for all employees to earn a wage that affords them a decent standard of living.

The real Living Wage currently stands at £8.25 across the UK and the higher rate £9.40 in London, with the rates for 2016/17 to be announced on Monday 31st October. This is different to the government’s minimum, known as the national living wage, as our real Living Wage is based on the amount families need to live on.

Employers sign up to the real Living Wage because they believe their staff should earn enough to live on, but they have also reported benefits to their business. This has included lower staff turnover leading to reduced recruitment costs, decreased absenteeism and higher productivity. The BrewDog example demonstrates the potential benefits of implementing the real Living Wage.

We are proud of all the employers we work with, but we are especially proud of those in industries such as retail and hospitality where margins are tight and paying a fair wage to everyone is a big decision. But, going further than the government minimum is a commitment to your staff that you value their time and efforts and that you want them to build a career with you.  Bearing the Living Wage mark means you are part of a movement of businesses, organisations and people who understand that paying your staff a real living wage isn’t just the right thing to it – it makes business sense too.

Living Wage Week starts on Monday 31 October and we encourage businesses to use this opportunity to find out more about paying a real Living Wage, and contact us today to help end low pay livingwageweek@livingwage.org.uk.