Should companies pay the living wage?
With the idea that a generally accepted definition of a living wage at a global level is a necessary starting point for any discussion on a strategy to address in-work poverty as the driver, ACCA and The Living Wage Foundation are undertaking a project to identify the key stakeholders for, and initiatives in, living wage issues. The two organisations are convening thought leaders worldwide to initiate a high level discussion around the possibilities of achieving such harmonisation through a series of roundtables, all based on the same format for comparability purposes.
The recent Brussels roundtable explored the relevance, applicability, benefits of and barriers to the living wage both on a national, EU and international scale. Participants discussed the existence and the consequences of the apparent diversity in living wage definitions and of stakeholders’ perceptions and opinions of the living wage, trying to identify impacts on government and business. Discussion namely revolved around whether there is a common understanding of the living wage locally; the difference between a Living Wage and a National Minimum Wage; the components of a living wage; the extent to which introducing a living wage would help businesses to develop and add value to their human capital; and the impact of paying a living wage on operations, the supply chain and contractor relationships.
The discussions of the roundtables will be incorporated into a research paper on stakeholders’ perceptions of introducing a living wage, presenting expert opinion on the living wage regarding its introduction and application in different regions. It is expected to be published by the end of the summer.