Sunday 4 November 2012

Business values and payment of the living wage

I suspect your business values would point to you paying the living wage - so I do hope you are already paying it or have steps in place to rectify the situation internally and with your suppliers. 

It’s living wage week this week here in the UK - where organisations are being asked by the Living Wage Foundation to sign up to paying a living wage – ie a wage that enables those in receipt of it to meet the basic costs of living. In London that figure is £8.55 and outside London £7.45 (£1.26 more than the recently increased minimum wage).

I can feel the resistance already of many organisations not supporting payment of the living wage. I'm sure as living wage week progresses there will be many others who can more adequately answer some of the concerns raised. One point I'd like to make, and it would be funny if it wasn't so serious a point as I only blogged yesterday about the validity of values statements, is this:  

Values are how we determine what action to take - the same should be the same for business values. If we have a decision to make we should be able use the values statement as criteria for determining if it's a yes or a no! Let's just see how some common business values fair when asked "should I be paying the living wage?"
  • Respect 
  • Lead by example
  • Honest
  • Socially responsible
  • Integrity
  • Open
  • Value the individual
  • Dignity
  • Standards of excellence
That's a yes then.

Even if an organisation has included the need for profitability in their values statement, and most don't, I'd suggest meeting all the other values would negate the extra £44 per week per person you may be needing to pay. Especially as a procurement professional I could save you that in a heart beat from somewhere else. At least you could then hold your head high and know your profitability isn't at the expense of respecting and giving dignity to those who work for you on a wage significantly less than most of us reading this blog.

What can you do to ensure your organisation signs up to pay the living wage internally and to it's suppliers?

Alison Smith
The Purchasing Coach
Sowing the seeds for the payment of the living wage by our suppliers too

Living Wage Foundation logo source: via Alison on Pinterest

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