Encouraging British companies to pay all staff at least a real Living Wage

We believe that the Living Wage is important because a fair day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay. Ending poverty pay is good for business and good for society.

In its sixth year, our Living Wage campaign has gone from strength to strength. In September 2017, we reached a major milestone. 33 companies in the FTSE 100 – that’s one third – now pay all their direct staff and UK contractors enough to live off. Thanks to our engagements, Diageo (owners of Guinness and Johnnie Walker), Land Securities, Informa, and Ashtead Group accredited as Living Wage employers in 2017.

Why this is important and what we’re doing about it

We believe that the Living Wage is important because a fair day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay. Ending poverty pay is good for business and good for society.

At ShareAction, we think that Britain’s biggest companies should take the lead on fair pay, and that starts with the FTSE100. We bring this issue to the fore with the bosses of these companies by mobilising savers and investors to get these companies to commit to ensuring all their staff earn enough to get by.

The Living Wage rates of £9.75 in London and £8.45 for the rest of the UK are independently calculated to meet basic needs for an individual and their family. 31 of the FTSE 100 and 2900 companies UK-wide have signed up to the accreditation standard of the Living Wage Foundation, agreeing to pay at least these rates for all their staff, including those employed through contractors on their UK sites. In practice this means the Living Wage has an impact upon more than 68,000 families across the UK – and counting!

With more than half of pension savers saying they want their pension to engage with investee companies about the Living Wage according to a YouGov survey, we’re helping savers take their concern to their pension funds. Hearing from savers gives pension funds, as big investors, a strong impetus to raise the issue with the biggest UK companies.

To make sure these supportive investors have the maximum voice, we mobilise them together in an Investor Collaborative for the Living Wage which calls upon the FTSE100 to adopt the UK Living Wage standard.

Meanwhile, we help keep the public eye on the companies that aren’t stepping up to make sure their workers earn enough to make ends meet.

And it’s been making huge strides! Check out the successes page to see how putting the pressure on the FTSE100 through investors is making an impact.

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Latest news

Campaign resources

Why the Living Wage Pays Dividends: The Case for the Living Wage

This briefing provides information for investors on the benefits of the Living Wage. The new Living Wage rates announced in November 2017 are £10.20 / hour for London and £8.75 / hour for the rest of the UK.


Reforming the Investment System to Promote Good Work

The investment system has a vital role to play in ensuring good working conditions in the UK and throughout the world. This briefing outlines how regulatory change and specific policy developments can facilitate that role.


All living wage resources

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Mara Lilley Senior Campaigns Officer


Colette St-OngeLiving Wage