Firms who can afford it must pay the living wageBOSSES MUST “DO THE RIGHT THING” NOW ECONOMY IS RECOVERING

Firms that can afford to pay their staff a living wage have a moral responsibility to do so, the Archbishop of York has said. If acted upon, this recommendation would make a huge difference to thousands of graduates currently earning “poverty wages” – the national minimum wage or less.

Now that the economy is recovering, companies have an ethical responsibility to ensure their staff are earning a wage they can actually live on, Dr John Sentamu argued. Until that happens, higher-paid taxpayers are effectively subsidising lower-earning workers, while the employers continue to profit. The so-called ‘living wage’ is calculated as £7.65 an hour nationally, and £8.80 in London. Dr Sentamu said:

“The idea of making work pay is an empty slogan to millions of people who are hard pressed and working hard, but find themselves in a downward social spiral. “They are often in two or three jobs just to make ends meet. Meanwhile, the UK taxpayer picks up the bill in tax credits, in-work benefits and decreased demand in the economy. “With the economy showing signs of recovery, employers that can pay a living wage must do so. “They should choose between continuing to make gains on the back of poverty wages or doing the right thing and paying a fair wage for a hard day’s work.”

Graduate Fog is aware that many of this website’s users are earning less than the living wage – most commonly the national minimum wage (£6.31 an hour for over-21s) or even less while doing unpaid or very low-paid internships. Although you are often told that your employer has no budget to pay you, many of you feel that is untrue, particularly when you learn how much your senior colleagues are earning. While the recession was at its worst, they could make the argument that there simply wasn’t the cash to pay you. But now that things appear to be picking up, how many employers will accept that it’s time to dig deep and pay you the wages you deserve? *DO BOSSES HAVE A MORAL RESPONSIBILITY TO PAY A LIVING WAGE? If a company can afford to, should they pay more than the minimum wage? If you’re earning less than the living wage, do you think your employer could afford to pay you more, or do you believe they really can’t find the money? Is there a moral responsibility to pay as much as they can afford – or should employers only ever have to pay the legal minimum? Or should the minimum wage simply be raised to a sum that workers can actually live on, without additional Government / taxpayer support? Have your say below!

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