We have been awarded the Funding Champion Award for dedication to the real Living Wage, and we couldn’t be happier.
Our Social Investment Team: Fay Jackson, Steve Hughes, Jonathan Baker and Bethan Rowsby picked up the honour for promoting of the Real Living Wage through their funding and grant-making process. The team received the award from the Money Saving Expert, Martin Lewis at the annual Living Wage Foundation Awards Ceremony at the Guildhall in London.
The award follows on from THT being the first Housing Association in the UK to achieve the Living Wage Friendly Funder accreditation in 2018. Our history with the living wage goes back to 2014 when we became a Living Wage employer.
What is the Living Wage?
Despite the Government’s National Minimum Wage, low pay is a significant contributing factor to the levels of in-work poverty across the UK. The Living Wage is a rate independently-calculated based on what people need to get by rather than the minimum set by the Government. The current Living Wage is £9.00 per hour across the UK and £10.55 in London. It provides a voluntary benchmark for employers that choose to take a stand by ensuring their staff earn a wage that meets the costs and pressures they face in their everyday lives.
Why do THT support the Living Wage?
Our Social Investment purpose is to alleviate poverty across Trafford, and we seek to ensure everyone has the chance of a decent life, regardless of their personal circumstances. Becoming a Living Wage Friendly Funder was an obvious choice for our Social Investment Board. Ensuring that people are paid a fair wage for a fair day’s work is an integral part of that mission. Fay, our Social Investment Manager, puts it more eloquently:
“Work contributes massively to our sense of self. Paying a wage which meets the real cost of living gives security and independence. As the first Housing Association to become a living wage funder, we are thrilled to win a Champion Award. It is important that we use the resources we have at our disposal to advocate for and encourage others to do the same. It’s not only the individuals we fund that will benefit from the real Living Wage, but their families, the businesses around them and everyone connected with them. We hope that by sharing our experience, other funders will sign up to the Living wage campaign.”
The organisations we support from the voluntary, community and social enterprise sectors do support the Living Wage on principle but in practice, resources are often tight. The need to maintain financial stability can impact on wages they pay. In a sector dependent on volunteers, receiving any wage can be seen as a privilege. Therefore low pay remains a real challenge across the charity sector. As funders, we have a role to play in supporting organisations in being able to address that. So when organisations apply for wages we encourage a minimum of the living wage rates.
Who is the Living Wage Foundation
The Living Wage Foundation is the organisation at the heart of the movement of businesses, organisations and individuals who campaign for the simple idea that a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay. They recognise and celebrate the leadership shown by responsible employers who voluntarily choose to go further and pay a real Living Wage based on the cost of living, not just the government minimum. There are currently over 5,000 Living Wage employers of which we are one.
Katherine Chapman, (pictured with the Social Investment team above) is the Director of the Living Wage Foundation, congratulated all those who not only won an award but all those who applied and those who are part of the Living Wage network. “This year has already been an historic one for the Living Wage Movement as we have reached over 5,000th Living Wage employers, showing that businesses continue to recognise the importance of a wage that truly covers the cost of living and it’s fantastic to be able to thank a handful of those employers this evening publicly.”
If you would like any more information on the Living Wage, then their website has all you will need about this fantastic foundation Living Wage Foundation.
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