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It is Living Wage week this week. What’s that you ask? Another initiative from people who have no clue about the real world might be my first answer!

From this year onwards a figure will be published in November which gives the recommended minimum hourly rate that staff should be paid in order to meet the basic costs of living and companies can sign up to pledge that all staff will be paid at least this rate which currently recommended at £7.45 an hour.

Ed Miliband has now pledged that if Labour return to power they will enforce this on many companies and “name and shame” those that don’t comply.

We can see it causing nothing but dissatisfaction & unrest in workplaces where the National Minimum Wage (or anything above that but below the living wage) is paid as staff will feel short changed to not be receiving this new higher Living Wage. Even the title “living wage” seems inflammatory by suggesting that the NMW is not enough to live on. Maybe it is and maybe it isn’t – we think that probably depends how you define what is required to “live”.

At vivoHR we are failing to see how this figure will benefit anyone unless it becomes the statutory NMW requirement….and even then the implications are huge – businesses that run with high numbers of staff on or about NMW wil be forced to put prices up, cut staff numbers or other costs or may even be forced out of business – those staff might wish they’d still just got NMW if they find themselves back in the dole queue.

We don’t know what the answer is to raise the standard of living for many people but we are not convinced this is it in our current economic climate….

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