The CIPD has been announced as the winner of the 2018 Living Wage Champion Award for Innovation. The award was given to a pilot scheme designed to encourage members to become champions for the Living Wage and inspire others to sign up. The Living Wage Champion awards recognise Living Wage employers and individuals that have made outstanding contributions to communities and industries by implementing and celebrating the Living Wage. 

The pilot ran from October 2017 to May 2018 and involved nine senior leaders, or 'champions', across diverse industries ─ from finance and retail to education and not-for-profit ─ to undertake a range of activities to promote the Living Wage. This included influencing their direct and indirect contacts, speaking at events, social media activity and blogging. A working group has now been convened with members of the pilot to explore further methods to champion a real Living Wage within organisations across the UK.

This initiative was part of the CIPD’s broader work in addressing key workplace issues through in-work campaigning and proving that people professionals can play a huge part to drive positive change both in the workplace and the community. It runs alongside the CIPD Flexible Hiring Champion pilot that we are running in partnership with Timewise to increase the number of jobs advertised as flexible at the point of hire, thereby increasing access to employment for returners.

Tess Lanning, Director of the Living Wage Foundation, said: “Congratulations to the CIPD on becoming a Living Wage Champion award winner. They are leading the way in placing dignity and respect at the heart of their organisation, and have gone above and beyond in promoting the Living Wage. Over 4,300 employers have now signed up to the Living Wage movement, and their leadership is making a profound difference to the lives of families and communities across the UK. The CIPD’s work in celebrating and championing the Living Wage has been vital to its success.”

While employers can choose to pay the Living Wage on a voluntary basis, there are a number of business benefits as to why it’s a good idea. These include higher levels of employee productivity, as staff should be able to focus on their jobs without distraction, increased motivation and retention rates, as well as improved business reputation as an employer that puts its people first.

Paying the Living Wage will also, of course, help employees be their best at work ─ CIPD research has found that one in four employees say that money worries have impacted on their ability to do their job, such as feeling physically fatigued due to lack of sleep, not being able to focus on the job, or being absent from work. Not only do financial concerns result in stressed employees, this stress can then impact on their ability to make informed financial decisions, so making the situation worse.

HR professionals are in a unique position in their organisation to drive a holistic financial well-being strategy that takes into account the Living Wage as they work to improve the working lives of their employees. Being paid a living wage is a part of the fundamentals of a good working life, but it should only be the beginning to creating fairly paid, skilled and flexible workplaces.

The CIPD will continue to work with the Living Wage Foundation to inspire more organisations to become accredited. More information about the Real Living Wage and the accreditation process can be found here.

For more information about Reward and Pay, please visit our factsheet here.

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About the CIPD

At the CIPD, we champion better work and working lives. We help organisations to thrive by focusing on their people, supporting economies and society for the future. We lead debate as the voice for everyone wanting a better world of work.