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The University of Southampton
Public Policy|Southampton

Advocating the real living wage (RLW) among employers

Real Living Wage
Real Living Wage

Project Outline

In transforming the world towards a global state of sustainable development, ethical and responsible investments have become buzzwords among the investment community, which has been more active than ever in promoting its Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) agendas.

As part of these agendas, UK’s initiative on advocating the real living wage (RLW) among employers via the Living Wage Foundation (LWF) accreditation programme that advocates paying employees a wage sufficient to live a decent life has become a successful national move with the potential to generate impact across the globe going forward, especially in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). While it is perceived as ‘the right thing to do’, paying employees the RLW also provides a variety of benefits to the investors and their clients, employers, employees and society in general.

At present, paying the RLW instead of the national minimum or the national living wage is a voluntary commitment promoted by nongovernmental organisations and investment management firms. In the UK, LWF has taken a lead in promoting the living wage among the UK employers through the living wage accreditation programmes. These run in collaboration with the investment community and living wage campaigners from NGOs. As of March 2019, following a decade of successful work, LWF has accredited 5000 employers. This accounts for more than 30% of the FTSE 100 firms and 15% of the FTSE 350 firms listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE).

You can read more about the project here.

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