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The Living Wage: seeing the benefits

Published 4th August, 2015 by Neil Nixon

The Living Wage: seeing the benefits

One year on from becoming an accredited Living Wage employer, the Health Insurance Group says it was the right decision and so do its staff.

Brett Hill, commercial director of the Health Insurance Group, said: “Studies show a strong link between financial and emotional wellbeing as money issues can send stress and anxiety levels into freefall. As a responsible employer we felt it was important to support the Living Wage and do something practical about stress related to our own retention, motivation and productivity of staff. Living Wage is good for a business like ours, which is expanding, as it makes the company attractive to the right calibre of people. We signed up to the Living Wage in May last year and feel it has been enormously beneficial.”

Julie Hibbins has been a cleaner at the Health Insurance Group's Sheffield office for the past four years and is a delighted and surprised beneficiary of the Living Wage. Her pay has gone up twice, in line with the living wage, from £7 to £7.85 per hour. She works through contractor, Carol's Cleaning, and says it was a real surprise to get the raise. “It was a lovely feeling to get the Living Wage increase,” she said. “The company treats me like one of theirs and I feel really appreciated. Everyone should be paid a living wage; it may not seem much to some but it makes a real difference. To me it is an extra £40 per month for the 11 hours a week I work at this site work and that mounts up.”

A recent poll by Nationwide revealed that 87% of the public thought that those businesses that can, should pay the Living Wage and 58% would be more likely to use the goods and services of a company that paid its employees the Living Wage.

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