Why paying the real Living Wage matters

Hear more about the difference we make to our employees and communities by being a Living Wage employer!

 

We're proud to celebrate Living Wage Week as an accredited Living Wage employer. We pay all our employees - regardless of age or role - at least the real Living Wage.

We were very excited to take part on Monday in the Living Wage Foundation's north west webinar to launch the new real Living Wage rate of £9.50 per hour. The event was a celebration of a pay rise for 250,000 people across the UK. There were some incredible figures announced – since 2011 payment of the real Living Wage has increased wages by £1.3 billion, with £800m of that going to key workers. An extra £200m has been paid to workers during lockdown.

The event heard from Oak View Group, who are delivering the new area in east Manchester and have signed up to pay the real Living Wage to all workers on the construction of the site. We also heard from Chris Dabbs from Unlimited Potential in Salford and Bishop John Arnold, Bishop of Salford. Did you know Salford was the first city in the UK to commit to being a real Living Wage city? Paying the Living Wage is becoming part of the culture of doing business in Salford. Steve Rotheram and Andy Burnham also took part talking about the importance of the Living Wage to the two City regions of Liverpool and Manchester and how it is central to how we will build back better after the coronavirus pandemic.

We spoke about why paying the Living Wage is important to RBH - about how it fits with our ambition of people succeeding together in how we deliver our housing services and create great places to live and work, and how it brings our values of responsibility, caring, and equity to life. We were also there on behalf of the Greater Manchester Housing Partnership – 17 Greater Manchester housing associations are accredited Living Wage employers. Collectively we employ just under 10,000 people, 94% of whom live in Greater Manchester. Paying the Living Wage is important to social housing providers because we know it is a key driver in supporting communities to overcome poverty. It is also known to improve motivation, engagement, recruitment and retention and all those things mean that it makes good business sense. Most of all though, it is good for people and families – it helps reduce the stress of financial worry and gives extra budget for enjoying family and personal time.

John's story

John joined Rochdale Boroughwide Housing in August 2019 as an Apprentice Electrician. He had been looking for an apprenticeship to gain the experience he needs to complete his qualification and achieve his goal to become a fully qualified Electrician.

It was very stressful looking for an Apprenticeship. Knowing that the average pay is much lower than the Living Wage and that I may have to take a pay cut, and the stress on my household that would come from that.

John Taylor RBH Apprentice Electrician

As an older apprentice with a family to consider and support John is extremely positive about the Real Living Wage and the enormous difference it has made to him.

My wife and children definitely saw a difference in me when I joined RBH. I owe a lot of that to the fact that we can now go out more and enjoy our family time without worrying if we can afford it. I can take my children out more to farms, beach trips and restaurants with the extra income. These are all things that are made accessible now due to me being paid the Living Wage.

The difference extends beyond the impact in his home life, John also feels that receiving the Living Wage contributes to his motivation and achievement at work. John has completed his NVQ almost four months ahead of schedule, even with disruptions caused by Covid-19!

I was extremely lucky to gain an Apprenticeship with RBH. With the Living Wage I am financially secure and that shows in my attitude and well being. I can come into work fresh and ready for the tasks at hand without a worry, and I truly believe it shows in my productivity.

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