Pioneering the living wage

By Max Denis · May 27, 2021

We at gigl are pleased to be recognised for our work in championing the London living wage and are honoured to be one of this year’s nominees in the Living Foundation Awards. To our employees and users of our platform, the living wage symbolizes security, strength and opportunity. While we recognise it is not always possible for employers to pay the living wage, we encourage all to advocate for a fairer, more rewarding, and booming jobs market.

In this article, we count down some of the core reasons we believe paying the living wage is just the right thing to do.

1. Fairness in Financial Security 

“Allows me to live instead of just survive”

As name the suggests, the living wage is all about living a full and prosperous life. For so many, work is source of fulfilment and passion. While not everyone is lucky enough to have a job which they look forward to everyday, all workers put huge amounts of energy and effort into their work. It seems only fair that they be adequately rewarded for their efforts. Paying the living wage is not only a fair reward for hard-working labourers, but it also allows them financial security. A living wage salary means workers will not have to worry about paying basic bills or rent. Consequently, they can spend more time enjoying their time asway from work, creating a happier and healthier workforce. 

2. It is Good for Business

Paying the living wage is ultimately a good thing to do for workers, but it has upsides for your business as well. The living wage foundation reports that 93% of business paying the living wage have benefitted. 86% reflect that paying fair wages is good for their reputation, making public opinion and investment opportunities more favourable. 75% of living wage accredited employers note that the wage has boosted motivation and retention rates for employers. Paying better wages does seem to translate into higher worker productivity. And 58% say it has improved manager-staff rapport. Any successful business depends on a strong supportive team, the living wage might just be a step in the right direction.

3. Empowering Students 

Student workers aged between 18 and 20 see a national minimum wage of £6.56 while 16 to 17 year olds can expect a wage as low as £4.62 per hour. These figures assume that students have significantly different financial needs compared to older workers. While it is true that some students receive financial support from their guardians, many will not – there is a large variation in how much students are supported. Paying the living wage allows students to become more financially independent while they study. It also expands access to higher education. Many would-be university students decline to go to university because of financial worries; the living wage gives these students a much greater say in their future.

4. The Knock-on Effects for Society 

At a higher hourly wage, workers also have the option to work less strenuous working hours. This allows workers to spend more quality time with their loved ones. Increasing family importance is helpful not only to boost the happiness of workers but also to improve the lives of future generations. Children who spend more time with their parents are much less likely to engage in anti-social or delinquent behaviours which damage society. 

A better wage also increases the worker’s ability to accumulate wealth through savings. This allows for a better chance of homeownership, investment, and long-term financial security.

We encourage all employers to consider the valuable benefits which arise through introducing the living wage. The living wage is a step towards a fairer, more equitable work system.