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IWFM Publishes Guidance Showing Benefits of Paying Real Living Wage

IWFM Publishes Guidance Showing Benefits of Paying Real Living Wage
03 July 2020 | Updated 23 December 2020

IWFM has published new guidance on the Real Living Wage, explaining the benefits and practicalities of paying it in the FM profession.

Created in partnership with the Living Wage Foundation, the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management (IWFM) report is reinforced by testimonies from individual workers who have benefitted from the scheme. There is also evidence from organisations that are going further to champion the real Living Wage.

The guidance is designed to provide employers with the tools to break down barriers and allow more people to be paid a fair wage.

It also aims to help members make the business case for fair wages by sharing evidence showing the crucial link between higher rates of pay and improved service delivery and performance.


“We understand these are challenging times with bottom lines under stress, but it is also a time when many contracts are likely to be renegotiated. This is our chance to reassess how we do things, acknowledge the longer-term benefits of better pay, and ‘build back better’.”

–Linda Hausmanis



A Crucial Time to Reassess as Contracts are Renegotiated 


CEO of IWFM Linda Hausmanis commented: “Our profession has long recognised the contributions of lower-paid occupations, such as cleaners and security guards, not just in keeping buildings - and their occupants - safe and healthy, but also in keeping society and the economy in working order.

“We believe it is only right that people are paid a fair wage for a day’s work, and we are already promoting this as an accredited Living Wage Employer. We are looking forward to working with members, alongside the Living Wage Foundation, to make the business case for fair wages.

“We understand these are challenging times with bottom lines under stress, but it is also a time when many contracts are likely to be renegotiated. This is our chance to reassess how we do things, acknowledge the longer-term benefits of better pay, and ‘build back better’.”


What are the Benefits of Paying the Real Living Wage?


The following guidance is taken from IWFM’s report, reflecting studies carried out by the Living Wage Foundation in partnership with academic institutions, as well as independent research by Queen Mary University and others:


  • Staff wellbeing –  We all feel happier, more valued and appreciated when we are paid fairly. For those on low pay, the knowledge that they can support their family and pay the bills, less threatened by debt, poverty and a reliance on the state, helps to reduce stress and any sense of vulnerability, enabling them to enjoy life more.
  • Better recruitment – With ever-widening skills gaps in many parts of our profession, the ability to recruit and retain staff has never been more vital. To be an employer of choice, businesses must take active steps to attract and retain the talent of today and tomorrow. Particularly for younger workers, the total employee experience and company culture, with pay as part of the total rewards package, is of growing importance in their career choices
  • Better retention – Higher pay improves staff loyalty and engagement, and so employees are less likely to leave; it also potentially removes the need for them to look for second or third jobs. Better staff retention brings down recruitment, training and overall personnel costs. As a real Living Wage Employer, your recruitment power will increase, making it easier to attract new staff - at all pay levels
  • Improved productivity and service levels – Paying your staff a fair wage allows them to focus on their job and raises morale, engagement and motivation; it also reduces absenteeism and sickness rates, improving employment relations. This, in turn, boosts individual and collective performance and productivity, leading to improved service levels, higher levels of customer/client satisfaction and loyalty; all of which benefit an organisation’s stakeholders through increased margins and profitability
  • Corporate reputation and social value – Not only does paying a fair wage make sound business sense, improving the lives of workers and their families is also the responsible thing to do. It will help you stand out from your competitors and improve your reputation within both the business and local communities. By improving the financial status and spending power of your employees or contractors, you can create a ripple effect through the local economy, to the advantage of other sectors and businesses. This has a wider social and economic benefit by lowering government spending on benefits, reducing poverty-related crime and improving social mobility. 


You can find out more about becoming a Real Living Wage employer here.

Picture: A photograph showing a person working on reports at their computer. Image Credit: IWFM

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 03 July 2020


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