Proud to be a Real Living Wage Employer

Proud to be a Real Living Wage Employer

This week we celebrate being a Real Living Wage employer as part of #LivingWageWeek, a fantastic initiative to pay all workers a fair wage, according to their true living costs.

The real Living Wage is the only UK wage rate that is voluntarily paid by almost 9,000 UK businesses who believe their staff deserve a wage which meets everyday needs – like the weekly shop, or a surprise trip to the dentist.

Almost 300,000 employees have received a pay rise as a result of the Living Wage campaign, including half of the FTSE 100 and big household names including Nationwide, Google, Brewdog, Everton FC and Chelsea FC.

“The real Living Wage is something that has been on our minds for years, but we always thought was out of reach as a small-medium sized family firm. However, last year in the midst of the pandemic, we decided to take the plunge.” Says Hannah Barlow, Dunsters Farm Managing Director.

“Being in the food service sector, we know that the industry has historically been known for low paid, often entry level employment for warehouse and office staff. This was an issue for us when we first considered uplifting our staff given that our competitors had been and continue to pay the minimum wage and that is taken as the norm. We also had the challenge of getting approval from our board as this was something that had not been spoken about before and we had to be clear that this was sustainable from a financial perspective.

“However, it was during the Covid-19 pandemic last year where we got to witness and appreciate the true dedication and hard work of our core team. Their work kept our business viable as we were still serving schools and hospitals and we were determined to get over the line and fulfil our ambitions to pay them the real Living Wage. As a family-run business, we have always wanted to be seen as a fair employer who value and look after their workforce.

“I first found out about the real Living Wage by attending an online panel discussion on the topic and hearing from Donald of One + All on the benefits it had brought to the business and to their staff. Donald is a true inspiration (even if he would be too modest to admit!) and I thought if they could do it then why couldn’t we? I would also recommend putting yourself forward for these webinars, like the ones run by the Good Employment Charter, as the insights you gain can be game changing for your business.”

In terms of the benefits that paying the real Living Wage has brought to our business, here are just a few:

  • Peace of mind knowing that our staff are paid fairly for their hard work.
  • Improved recruitment as we can attract and retain a high calibre of staff.
  • More business. We often work with organisations such as the NHS, schools, and colleges, and they are increasingly looking for contractors that can demonstrate the social value they bring to their communities.

Hannah says; “I would urge everyone who is on the fence to strongly consider paying the real Living Wage and see how becoming a better employer works for you.”

To Find out more, go to Living Wage Foundation | For the real cost of living