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Business growth and the Living Wage go hand-in-hand

Published 22nd January, 2016 by Neil Nixon

Business growth and the Living Wage go hand-in-hand

New business growth has seen Facilicom UK's total workforce expand to almost 4000 people across the UK last year and an additional 307 colleagues are now working for the company on Living Wage contracts.

At a time when many businesses are concerned about the increase in costs of paying the Living Wage, Facilicom has shown that paying a fair wage can go hand-in-hand with growth. In total, over 750 of Facilicom's cleaners are now receiving this rate either nationally or in London - almost 19% and an increase of 58% on the previous financial year.

Phil Smith, corporate relationship director at Facilicom, said: “We've been paying the Living Wage to our direct employees, and including it in our new business tenders where possible, since 2013 and have developed working practices to show how the impact of paying the Living Wage doesn't have to be devastating to business models. The extra costs of pay rises can be mitigated through contract efficiencies, smarter operating practices, and the improved retention and commitment of operatives who are fairly remunerated for their work. We were a founding sponsor of the Living Wage Recognised Service Provider scheme and are now part of the leadership team which consists of many leading contract cleaning organisations. The team is there to help the Living Wage Foundation create real momentum within the UK's service provider network. We raise concerns, seek guidance and share our experiences to help others make this most important movement work. We need the many thousands of ethical and socially-minded employers who have not already done so to join us as accredited Living Wage Service Providers to ensure that people working in the cleaning industry, and beyond, are lifted out of in-work poverty as quickly as possible and wherever the opportunity exists.”

Sarah Vero, director of the Living Wage Foundation, said: “We welcome the leadership being shown by service providers around implementing the Living Wage. Recognised Living Wage service providers are showing the industry that there is a different way of working. We're seeing fantastic collaboration between service providers and it's great that they are able to join forces and share best practice. We have to keep the momentum going within the industry and also help other industries such as social care appreciate the benefits of paying the Living Wage. There has been a rapid expansion and growth in support for the campaign - in 2012 there were just 100 accredited Living Wage employers and now there are over 2000 including 28 FTSE 100 companies. However, there are still nearly 6 million people in the UK earning less than the Living Wage, so there is much work to be done.”

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