Living Wage Week starts today (14 to 20 November 2022) and it’s arguably more important than ever to get behind it. Although the movement has been around for over 20 years, the current economic climate is hitting people hard.

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As winter approaches, many people are facing a choice between heating and eating. From spiralling energy bills to rising food prices, we’re currently facing the highest rise in the cost of living for 40 years.

And with 78% of low-paid workers struggling to make ends meet, spreading the message of the Living Wage movement is particularly important right now.

From gaining their first supporter back in 2004, to now having over 11,000 accredited UK employers, the Living Wage movement has seen £1.8 billion in extra wages going back into the pockets of vital workers.

What is the Living Wage?

The real living wage is an amount voluntarily paid by accredited UK businesses who recognise that their staff deserve a rate of pay that meets their daily needs.

In the UK, the National Minimum Wage ranges from between £4.81 and £9.50 per hour depending on age.

Independently calculated, the Living Wage is currently £11.95 for those living in London, and £10.90 for the rest of the country. This rate ensures that those working in vital services, like cleaning, care, or security, are paid a fair wage for their commitment and dedication.

Why pay the Living Wage?

Business who sign up notice a raft of associated benefits above and beyond the satisfaction they get from doing the right thing by their staff.

From improved retention rates and employee relations to a boost in reputation, businesses have found that being accredited helps mark them out from their competitors.

How do I get involved?

There are two ways businesses can get involved in the Living Wage movement:

· Sign up to become a Living Wage Employer, meaning you commit to paying all your employees at least the real Living Wage.

· Alternatively, you can become a Recognised Service Provider. This means you’ll pay all your directly employed staff the real Living Wage. But you’ll also offer a Living Wage bid with every market rate you submit to prospective and current clients. This means your client always has the choice to implement the real Living Wage at the point of tender.

Our commitment to the Living Wage

Here at Kingdom, not only have we been enthusiastic supporters of the Living Wage movement for many years, but we were a founding member of its Recognised Service Provider Scheme. And we were one of the first national contract cleaning companies to sign up.

We wanted to lead the industry in combatting in-work poverty and improve the wellbeing of our lower paid staff.

And why do we do this? Because we believe work should pay and that employees should feel appreciated at all times. Without our frontline staff, we don’t have a business. These people should be rewarded sufficiently for their hard work.

Improving our workers’ lives

Since we became accredited, we’ve seen what a difference paying the Living Wage can make. Employee-manager relationships have vastly improved, not to mention staff reporting a better standard of living. Paying a Living Wage can dramatically improve people’s lives.

Take Emma Black for example, a Kingdom Cleaning operative at the Bank of New York Mellon in Edinburgh. As a single parent of two, working 15 hours a week, the Living Wage makes a real difference to her. She told us that before working for Kingdom Cleaning, she would spend every day counting the pennies and trying to budget enough to get by until the next time she got paid. Since working for us, she says her life has dramatically changed for the better and her children are much better off for it. The Living Wage has helped her get herself and her children out of an unsafe flat and into a nice house where they can build a family home.

Becoming involved with the Living Wage movement has been one of the most positive and rewarding initiatives we’ve ever implemented. We hope, that by doing our bit to raise awareness, other businesses will continue to follow on the path to making the world a much fairer place.