New research, released by accountancy firm KPMG on the weekend, found that only one in five workers is paid a real Living Wage, meaning millions of employees are struggling every day to keep their heads above water financially as their wages fail to meet the real cost of living.
Given the current economic and political outlook, benefits of paying the real Living Wage might not be immediately obvious because of associated employment costs.
Church House Westminster however strongly believes that paying a real Living Wage seriously benefits employee well-being. Since becoming an accredited Living Wage employer in 2014, the Westminster venue has reaped the benefits of fair pay with higher employee engagement rates and increased productivity. These gains have also encouraged Church House Westminster to adopt smarter job design and skills utilisation whilst increased staff retention and motivation allows the Westminster venue to continue to offer an award-winning service.
New Living Wage rates were announced at a ceremony in London this morning. The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, confirmed during his speech that the real Living Wage rates will increase from £10.20 to £10.55 per hour in London, helping to make London a fairer city. Every year the Living Wage Foundation reviews the current rates to ensure the real Living Wage is always reflective of the country’s current economy.
Church House Westminster is proud to be part of the real Living Wage movement. For the Westminster venue it means that all contracted staff, porters, catering, cleaning and temporary staff will receive the increased rate.
Edinson Garcia Bonilla, who has worked at Church House Westminster for over 11 years as a porter, commented: “Getting paid a real Living Wage has allowed me to support myself and my growing family over time. I was able to buy a car for the first time, something that I never thought would be possible. I have been able to spend more quality time with my family, not being distracted and worried about money troubles. Hard work is recognised at Church House Westminster and we love working together. We are a very close-knit team, who have known each other for years. We also know the building inside out and this knowledge gives us confidence to always deliver a wonderful service to clients”.
Andrea Corbari, a catering staff member, remarked: “I feel valued because I am rewarded fairly for a days’ work. Being paid the Real Living Wage means that I am now able to pay all my bills on time. Before I started to work here at Church House Westminster it was a struggle living in London. It is such an expensive city and I almost gave up on my dream. For over a year now in this job, I always strive to give my best because I want to achieve more for myself. I have been able to learn new skills on the job and I feel secure and not vulnerable like before“.
Magda Kujda, Catering Manager, shared her observations: “Relations between team members and managers have improved so much. We have seen increased staff motivation with the real Living Wage providing a boost to morale of junior and agency staff who will once again see their pay levels rise following the announcement today. Team members are also more focused and reliable, as the Living Wage effectively gives them a chance to fulfil their potential. This positive outlook has made recruiting much easier, allowing us to attract the best staff in the industry”.
Alison Forsyth, Operations Manager remarked: “Being an accredited Living Wage employer has made Church House Westminster more competitive and increased our reputation. We have been able to differentiate ourselves from other venues in the industry as we hold ourselves to a higher standard. Clients like the fact that we have a visible statement showing that we care deeply for our teams, which has subsequently resulted in new business on several occasions. Equally, as far as the events industry is concerned, paying a real Living Wage improves professionalism in our industry which is critical in attracting new talent, and for those considering joining the world of hospitality and events to view such an opportunity as a long-term career option, and not just a stopgap”.