As part of our ongoing Cost-of-Living campaign, we are speaking to our members who currently pay the London Living Wage in their business to learn what impact this has on their employees.
Why has your business chosen to be a London Living Wage employer?
A host of reasons: economic, reputational or simply – and still most importantly – recognising that paying the Real Living Wage (RLW) is the right thing to do. We are fortunate to be operating in a strong and very successful part of the economy, so it is only right that everyone who is contributing to our success receives a fair day’s pay, whether they work for us directly or indirectly. As well as paying the RLW, we advocate for it, so we are proud too to be longstanding members of the Living Wage Foundation.
What benefits has your business experienced by being a LLW employer?
We always hear from visitors what a warm welcome they receive on entering our building. That matters, and we know that paying key staff – many of whom are front of house — a good wage makes a real difference to job satisfaction, pride and the warmth of that greeting! Significantly, our turnover figures are now vanishingly small, which itself increases the quality of service as well as minimising recruitment and training costs. We also extend many staff benefits to those indirectly employed by us, and that builds even more connections across our organisation, underlining as it does our commitment to ‘One Team’.
What does the LLW accreditation mean to your employees?
Accreditation is important. Not only is it a sign of commitment by the firm, but it also further normalises the paying of a Real Living Wage. The more of us who are visible and committed, the more it challenges others. We know that accreditation excites our people as they see our values demonstrated in a wholly tangible and relatable way. When we share stories of how paying a Living Wage has enhanced colleagues’ family time, wellbeing or even simply the opportunity now to afford modest treats, it really does make people proud.
What does being a LLW employer mean to your clients?
Over the past couple of years, more of our clients are asking questions about the Real Living Wage, both in terms of our adherence and also an interest in finding out more. The RLW is, of course, one of the few truly quantifiable aspects of the ‘S’ in ESG, so it is now attracting much more attention as an unambiguous commitment to the people who keep the show on the road. It also shows a business that runs with a degree of integrity and social awareness, both qualities that give confidence to investors and other stakeholders.
What would you tell other businesses about your own experience paying the London Living Wage?
Simply that if you believe that success should be shared, that a fair day’s work merits a fair day’s pay and that treating people well brings out the best in them, then paying the Real Living Wage is exactly what you should be doing. With growth of RLW employers doubling over the pandemic and a new campaign to make London a Living Wage City for those who can afford it, there really is no excuse.
Matt leads Linklaters work on responsible business globally, ensuring that stakeholders’ growing expectations are met in a considered, consistent and impactful way. Matt is a Vice-Chair of the Living Wage Foundation and plays a similar role for the Legal Sustainability Alliance and B4SI. He is also a Board Member of the UN Global Compact UK.
What does London mean to you?
At its best, London is everything you want it to be – a business whirlwind, a cultural feast and a tourist playground depending on the day, the mood and, of course, the weather. It just gets better with age and with the more people with which you share it.
What do you think is the best thing about running a business in the capital?
You are at the heart of the action, whether that be clients, peers, new joiners or, indeed, any group that has an interest in what you are doing. It is a noisy place but one to which we are collectively contributing a very clear message about the positive impact of business on society. That sense of being in it together is something which makes London unique.
How do you envision London in 10 years’ time?
The toughest one to call is whether we’ll be back to five days or down to three. I think we’ll slowly get back to seeing work as a destination and, in ten years’ time, I’m sure that London will remain the best destination of all. By then, progress will be even faster, the world smaller, and competition greater, but we’ll still have that mix of lives and lifestyles that makes the capital great, and that’s what will keep us at the top.