Each year, the Real Living wage movement is celebrated. This year it is being celebrated from the 15th - 21st of November and is the 20th anniversary for the Real Living Wage movement.
History of the Living Wage
This is an independent campaign where employers opt to voluntarily pay their employees a higher wage than the government's National Minimum Wage. The movement started back in 2001 in a Citizen UK meeting which was based in London as an attempt to tackle in-work poverty. Over the years, the number of companies coming onboard with this campaign has increased with over 8,500 UK business owners paying their employees this higher wage.
The Real Living Wage changes annually to reflect the rise in the cost of living. This is something that is announced every year during the Living Wage week. Over the last few weeks, National news has reported the changes to the National Minimum wage, which will now rise by 6.6%, giving those who are 23 and over, £9.50 an hour, rather than the current £8.91. Due to the change in National Minimum Wage, this means the Real Living Wage will now rise to £9.90 an hour. However, it has not been confirmed if employees can expect a rise in tax, welfare cuts and/or rising inflation.
Here at Sweet Cecily’s, and along with our sister companies, Herbal Apothecary and BeeVital (all under Nature's Laboratory Ltd), we are proud to pay our employees the Real Living Wage. We, along with 9,000 other UK business owners have opted to pay a wage that helps to meet everyday needs.
Why Do We pay it? What Are the Benefits?
Nature's Laboratory Director, Hugo Fearnley said: "We have always seen our staff and contractors as key to our success as a business. For us it was a logical step to commit to paying the Living Wage. We believe in rewarding a hard day's work with a fair day's pay. We also believe it is wrong to penalise younger workers with a lower rate of pay. The last time I checked, you didn’t get a discount on your rent, bills or groceries just because you were under 23!"
Our business and others like us have found that being part of the Living Wage foundation has provided the company with many great benefits. Some of these benefits include;
- Relationships between staff and their managers are good.
- Employees can have a good standard of living, something which is then implemented into the work that gets done as we are more motivated to help the business succeed.
- It's a long-term commitment that invests in improving employee’s mental health by paying them an amount that allows them to live a less money restricted life.
Not only is being part of this foundation good for business, but it is also good for society. As earning a living wage allows us to shop local and support businesses which may be a little more expensive than the regular franchise shops. By doing this we are helping to put money back into the local economy.
The Real Living Wage Has Had a Positive Impact on Our Team Here at Sweet Cecily’s
“Working for a company which pays the real living wage has made a great difference in my out of work life. I can spend more time with friends and family on a weekend and treat them when it comes to buying Christmas and Birthday presents. As well as this, I find myself not worrying about my money being able to last till the end of the month. Instead, I am able to save my money and put it to great use.”
“Before working at Sweet Cecily’s I didn’t know there was such a thing as Living Wage. As I save towards buying a new car and start saving for a house, the Living Wage helps me do those things while also being able to do things such as; buying clothes, going out with my friends, and lending a parent some money. I think more businesses around the UK should sign up to this foundation to help others live a more comfortable life.”
Living Wage Foundation Director, Katherine Chapman said: “We are delighted to retain Nature's Laboratory in the Living Wage movement as an accredited employer.
“The best employers are voluntarily signing up to pay the Living Wage now. The Living Wage is a robust calculation that reflects the real cost of living.
“We have accredited over 9,000 employers, including Nature's Laboratory, ranging from independent printers, bookshops and breweries to well-known companies such as Nationwide, Aviva and SSE. These businesses recognise that clinging to the National Living Wage is not good for business. Customers expect better than that."
We are all proud to be a part of this Foundation as it has made a positive impact on each one of us that work here. The Real Living Wage movement is something that we believe should be embodied by many more businesses around the country.