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Beyond the bottom line: The challenges and opportunities of a living wage

employment, fairness, personal finances

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Author(s):  Kayte Lawton, Matthew Pennycook
Published date:  20 Jan 2013
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This report from IPPR and the Resolution Foundation provides significant new detail on the value, costs and impacts of the living wage, for employees and employers alike.

Eleven years after it was revived by a broad-based community campaign in East London, the living wage is now an established fixture of our national policy debate. Yet in some senses, living wages have generated more heat than light, and as the living wage concept begins to attract serious scrutiny, the time is ripe for a far more rigorous and informed discussion.

What is the role of public policy in supporting progress on the living wage? The living wage campaign exemplifies the power of bottom-up organisation, and this must remain at the heart of the living wage idea. Yet there is a clear role for public policy in supporting civil society.

Recommendations and proposals in this report focus on:

  • Encouraging living wage leadership within the public sector
  • Using the procurement power of national and local government to extend living wage coverage
  • Supporting the take-up of living wages among large private sector employers
  • Incentivising living wage coverage among small and medium-sized enterprises
  • Strengthening the living wage campaign

Our people

Kayte Lawton, Senior Research Fellow


In the news

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Evening Standard - 10 Jan 2014

Save £3.6bn by paying at least the living wage
The Financial Times - 08 Jan 2014

Living wage workers more productive
The Times (£) - 06 Nov 2013

We need a statutory living wage
The Guardian - 05 Nov 2013

Time to establish living wage zones
New Statesman, Staggers blog - 16 Sep 2013



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