Investors focus on the real Living Wage

A group of 15 large institutional investors, coordinated by ShareAction, with assets totalling over £180bn are writing to FTSE companies to encourage them to accredit with the Living Wage Foundation.

Accreditation as a Living Wage employer means paying all staff at least £10.55 per hour in London and £9 per hour outside London. These rates are independently calculated as being sufficient to meet the real cost of living. They are higher than the UK Government’s so-called National Living Wage.

In letters to companies including NEST, Strathclyde Pension Fund, EdenTree Investment Management, Hermes Investment Management and Candriam Investors Group companies’ state that paying a Living Wage makes strong business sense for the long-term success of a company. At the moment, 63 companies within the FTSE 100 are yet to ensure staff are paid a real Living Wage.

Neville White, Head of SRI Policy and Research at EdenTree Investment Management: “As responsible investors, we regularly engage with companies on the Living Wage as a means of tackling inequality and preventing in-work poverty. Collaborative engagements are key to progress on this front, leveraging the collective voice and expertise of like-minded investors. We find that a company’s stance on the Living Wage is an excellent indicator of its wider approach to corporate social responsibility.”

Companies receiving a letter include Severn Trent, United Utilities, Vodafone, Balfour Beatty, Bellway, Bovis Homes, Crest Nicholson and Dunelm Group.

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