Greenlife has become a Living Wage employer
Greenlife has become an accredited Living Wage Employer. Our accreditation by the Living Wage Foundation means that everyone working at Greenlife receive a minimum hourly wage that is significantly higher than the government minimum for over 23s.
So what is the Living Wage Foundation?
The Living Wage Foundation is an initiative that was started by Citizens UK in 2001. Citizens UK brought together low paid workers in London, many of whom juggled two or three minimum wage jobs but still struggled to make ends meet. They campaigned for better wages and gradually gained ground, achieving better rates of pay for many thousands of low paid workers.
In 2011, the Living Wage Foundation was formed. The foundation is a way to recognize and celebrate responsible employers who pay the Real Living Wage by awarding them the Living Wage employer mark. The Living Wage rates are announced in November each year, and employers must implement the rise within six months.
The real Living Wage is the only rate calculated according to the costs of living. It provides a voluntary benchmark for employers that wish to ensure their staff earn a wage they can live on, not just the government minimum. After gaining cross party support from politicians, and support from prominent businesses and other advocates, the movement has grown and now there are over 10,000 accredited employers. Uptake in the Southwest of England is not as high as it is in some parts of the country, however. Currently in the Southwest region, just under a fifth of all jobs (18.1%) still pay less than the real Living Wage – that’s around 424,000 jobs.
The difference between the National Living Wage and the Real Living Wage
The Minimum Wage is the base rate of pay that every employer must pay an employee, whatever their age. In April 2016 the government introduced a higher minimum wage rate for all staff over 25 years of age, inspired by the Living Wage campaign – calling it the ‘National Living Wage.’ The government minimum takes into account what they regard to be affordable for businesses. The figure they use is based on a target to reach 66% of median earnings by 2024 and is not calculated according to what employees and their families actually need to live.
The real Living Wage rates are higher because they are independently-calculated based on what people need to get by. This means a higher rate is calculated for London than for the rest of the country, because living costs are higher there. The calculation for The Real Living Wage was conducted by the Resolution Foundation and overseen by the Living Wage Commission on behalf of the Living Wage Foundation. You can read more about it on the Living Wage Foundation website here:
Katherine Chapman, Director, Living Wage Foundation sent us this message of congratulation: “We’re delighted that Greenlife has joined the movement of responsible employers across the UK who voluntarily commit to go further than the government minimum to make sure all their staff earn enough to live on.”
Greenlife is proud to have become an accredited Living Wage Employer. This is significant to our hard-working team of 36 staff, especially considering the current changes to the cost of living in the UK.