87% of staff say employers should pay living wage if affordable

Some 87% of respondents believe that organisations which can afford to pay the national living wage should do so, according to research by Nationwide Building Society.

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The living wage, which is currently set at £7.85, or £9.15 in London, is higher than the current national minimum wage of £6.50 per hour for workers 21 and over.

The building society’s research, which surveyed 1,566 UK adults, also found that three-quarters (75%) of respondents believe employers should be required to reveal whether they are living wage payers.

The study also found:

  • 58% of respondents would be more likely to make use of goods and services from a living wage employer.
  • Three-quarters (75%) think the national minimum wage for apprentices should be higher than its current rate of £2.73 an hour although this is set to rise to £3.30 in October.

Alison Robb, group director, people, customer, communication and commercial at Nationwide Building Society, said: “The living wage campaign has real momentum now, and Nationwide and fellow living wage organisations are encouraging other employers to sign up.

“Some 58% of respondents would be more likely to use organisations that pay their employees the living wage, showing that as well as being the right thing to do, it also makes business sense.

“Paying the living wage demonstrates investment in those who work for us and, in turn, our employees feel more respected and valued.”

Rhys Moore, director of the Living Wage Foundation, said: “The leadership from Nationwide on the living wage has been very much welcomed.

“The accreditation of Nationwide as a living wage employer a year ago has helped bring the living wage to high streets. Conversations at local branches and in national boardrooms have been sparked by [its] commitment to fair pay and the Living Wage movement.

“With 87% of the public now saying they think that employers which can, should pay the living wage, we’re sure more businesses will follow [its] lead.”