Manufacturer of indoor wooden climbing frames, Sawdust and Rainbows is urging their own stockists and more UK businesses to step up and pay the real Living Wage. The company is highlighted the importance of employers acting now to ‘do the right thing’ during the recent Living Wage Week (9 -15 November 2020), which is when the movement is celebrated, and the new Living Wage rates are announced.
“The pandemic is having an unparalleled impact on people’s lives, particularly those in traditionally lower paid jobs,” says Rosie Hughes, Founder and Managing Director of the Crossgar-based manufacturer, Sawdust and Rainbows. “Organisations in the position to do so must play their part by becoming accredited Living Wage employers, so people can meet their everyday needs. It is only fair to pay a wage that reflects the true cost of living, particularly during a year of unparalleled financial upheaval.
Hughes asserts that becoming a Living Wage employer needs to become part of businesses’ strategies of ‘building back better’ but is concerned that some UK employers are exploiting the current high unemployment rate to keep wages low. She says, “While many aspects of our lives have changed this year, the business case for paying the real Living Wage hasn’t. It’s not only the right thing to do, but there is clear evidence that Living Wage employers benefit from higher productivity, better employee engagement and lower employee turnover. Sadly, some organisations are taking advantage of the fall-out from the pandemic by purposefully keeping wages at the Government minimum wage level.
Sawdust and Rainbows, became a Living Wage employer this year and has made part of their policy to now only take on stockists that also pay the Living Wage. Hughes adds, “It’s time for businesses to step-up. With the pandemic creating financial pressures like never before, it’s the role of businesses to pay a fair wage that makes a real difference to their employees’ lives.”
The real Living Wage is the only UK wage rate that is voluntarily paid by over 6,500 UK businesses that believe their staff deserve a wage which meets everyday needs. As well as improving the living conditions of their employees, Living Wage employers are also more likely to benefit from an enhanced reputation, improved recruitment, higher staff retention rates and a competitive edge.*
* The Living Wage Employer Experience, Cardiff Business School (April 2017)