Living Wage

Why does Barrow Cadbury Trust support Living Wage?

The Barrow Cadbury Trust is an accredited Living Wage Employer and a Living Wage Friendly Funder.  Our support for the Living Wage is a natural consequence of our long-standing interest in addressing the root causes of poverty and disadvantage.  The adoption of the Living Wage fits with several of our current concerns, for example tackling gender disadvantage, as a majority of the low paid are women. Having Living Wage accreditation for our own employees is a starting point for utilising all our assets to pursue our mission.

In addition to being a Living Wage Employer ourselves, we assist others to campaign for its wider adoption. For example, we support Citizens UK Birmingham to campaign for wider adoption, and grant-fund ShareAction to work with FTSE100 companies so that they sign up to the Living Wage. We have supported Middlesex University and University of Liverpool with research on the Living Wage in small and medium Enterprises (SMEs).  Read ‘Putting the Living Wage to work: strategies and practices in SMEs‘.  We are also working with our suppliers to give them the information for them to consider adopting a Living Wage.

What is the Living Wage Campaign?

The Living Wage Campaign calls for every worker in the country to earn enough to provide their family with the essentials of life. The Living Wage hourly rate for London is set annually by the Living Wage Foundation, calculated according to the cost of living and set independently, every year, by the Greater London Authority.   The UK rate is set annually by the Living Wage Foundation and calculated by the Centre for Research in Social Policy at Loughborough University.

Launched by Citizens UK in 2001, the campaign so far has been responsible for generating £210 million of additional wages, lifting more than 45,000 families out of working poverty.

Who are current Living Wage employers?

Many large companies, such as Barclays, KPMG, Ikea, Aviva, Nationwide, HSBC, Legal & General, charities  such as Oxfam and Save the Children, the TUC and Transport for London, as well as Birmingham City Council are all Living Wage employers.  But there are still a majority of large corporations and companies who do not pay the basic Living Wage to their workers, or ensure that the supply chain companies and providers they work with – cleaning staff, caterers, security firms etc. – pay a Living Wage.

Applicants and grantholders and the Living Wage

We are a Living Wage Friendly Funder.  This means that, except in exceptional circumstances, we do not give grants to fund posts that are paid below the Living Wage.  We encourage our grantholders and prospective applicants to think about building a Living Wage workforce.  But we understand that it is not an easy thing to do.  Being or working towards becoming a Living Wage employer is not a condition of our funding and we will consider your application on its merits whether or not your organisation is a Living Wage Employer.  If your grant application is successful and you want to find out more about Living Wage, we can signpost you to support with accreditation.  If you are a small organisation we can help with accreditation fees.

Barrow Cadbury Trust’s ongoing commitment to the Living Wage

The Trust will be working with other funders interested in supporting the Living Wage to develop and share good practice on being a Living wage funder and employer.  The evidence to back up the benefits of the Living Wage is freely available.  For example you might want to look at Trust for London-funded report in October 2012 on the costs and benefits of the London Living Wage.  The Resolution Foundation has also published a report Beyond the Bottom Line: the challenges and opportunities of a Living Wage.  And if you go to the Living Wage Foundation website you can read personal accounts of how people have benefitted from the Living Wage.