We are writing this blog on the eve of National Living Wage week – which comes at a time when the cost-of-living crisis is hitting the headlines daily. Working families are having to rely on foodbanks, people on a wide range of incomes are struggling to pay energy bills and children are going hungry during school holidays. The contrast between wealth and poverty is never more obvious than in London and our borough of Newham is an extreme microcosm of this. So, we are taking action…
A hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay
Back in March this year, we were officially accredited as a Living Wage Employer. This means that we are committed to paying our employees according to the actual cost of living (at a higher rate than the national average because we are in London) – which the minimum wage does not cover. In fact, the minimum wage as it currently stands, does not pay people enough for a weekly shop, let alone unexpected expenses, such as urgent dental care, for example. In our opinion, the minimum wage needs urgently and frequently reviewing to ensure that it enables working people to cover these basics. Until this happens, employers of all sizes, all over the UK, are stepping up to look after the people who work for them by committing to paying a Living Wage which is calculated according to the cost of living.
Taking action together
The Living Wage campaign actually began in East London twenty years ago. This year, The Royal Docks, home to our studio, has been formally recognised by the Living Wage campaign as a Living Wage Place, thanks to many more employers – including our neighbours ExCel – becoming Living Wage accredited. A community-led Living Wage Action Group, of which we are proud members, alongside Tate & Lyle Sugars and London City Airport continues to campaign to get more on board. The Royal Docks’ commitment is a key step in the Mayor of London’s plan to make London a Living Wage city by 2025. It is hoped that this year’s Living Wage Week – which will see employers across the UK proudly flying the Living Wage flag by taking part in events and shouting about #LivingWageWeek on their social media – will encourage even more businesses to get involved and make a difference to the lives of the people who dedicate their lives to working for them.
A special mention for Enabled Living
We just wanted to make a special mention of our Newham-based friends and clients, Enabled Living, who have gone above and beyond being a Living Wage Employer, to become the first health and social care organisation in London to become a Living Hours employer. Congratulations to a fantastic local team!
All businesses can become a Living Wage employer – so if you haven’t already, you can find out more and get involved here. If you want to work with a Living Wage supplier for all things design, print and web call 0208 590 0922 or email us at email@example.com