BIFM is now an accredited employer of the Living Wage and will be encouraging employers in the facilities management sector to follow suit. Over 400 organisations are now accredited Living Wage employers, having found that outsourced arrangements which pay the Living Wage increase productivity and service quality.
The Living Wage is both a major opportunity and a challenge to facilities management companies. The Living Wage Foundation has launched a new type of accreditation for service providers, who may find it challenging to have 100% of their staff on the Living Wage due to market rate expectancies. This new service provider option hopes to encourage Living Wage uptake and improve industry pay trends. FM suppliers sign an agreement with the Living Wage Foundation and commit to offering a Living Wage option alongside every tender, quote or bid. Current government policy is to encourage contractors to pay Living Wage and this will actively highlight this at the point of engagement. The Labour Party has also indicated that it would only contract with recognised Living Wage employers if it was in government.
Gareth Tancred, BIFM CEO, said: “The Living Wage is a set of hourly rates based on geographical location and is calculated according to the basic cost of living. Paying the Living Wage is good for business, good for the individual, and good for society. We recognise that adopting these measures is a challenge to many organisations, including FM service providers and in house teams, due to narrow margins and economic pressures. BIFM wants to actively encourage FM leaders and the organisations they work for to seriously consider the provision for Living Wage rates in their contracts and workplace to highlight the moral dimension of our responsibilities and our impact on the economy and society.”
BIFM recently hosted an event at KPMG's offices in London to encourage take up of the Living Wage in the sector. Speakers included Rhys Moore, director of The Living Wage Foundation; Jane Wills, professor of urban geography at Queen Mary University of London; and leading FM industry representatives.