Monthly Archives: March 2015

A Living Wage Is Good For Business

NEXT boss Simon Wolfson made the news this week after it was announced that NEXT has made annual profits of £695m. What this means for workers is a pro rata equivalent to 1.5% increase to their £6.33 salary. Currently, NEXT workers are paid merely 2p above the minimum wage, and although they will see a pay increase by 37p to £6.70 per hour in June, is this truly fair when Wolfson is expecting to make a windfall of over £4 million?

The workers’ position seems to be one based on fairness. Workers are not easily exploited or fooled today as they have been previously. Conservatives will no doubt spout their Tory rhetoric of “workers being greedy” but when things are placed into proportion and examined, the unfairness of workers waking up every day and putting in hard working hours to then going home and struggling is not really a fair deal when their collective efforts only seem to benefit their boss.

The slight increase in their wage becomes nothing more than a slap in the face by the hand of the rich, and this will only reverse the scales and increase the potential for future losses. Workers do not expect benevolence, they demand nothing but fairness. A living wage to live on is not a lot to ask when the companies FINANCIAL standings have truly been considered. After-all , they are the workforce and without them, what would the company be?

Business leaderships need to realise that public perception can make or break BUSINESSES no matter how successful they are. The public is generally more aware now, and they will choose to either boycott or support BUSINESSES depending on their stance on fairness.

For example, the demand for ethical products has seen increases to businesses across the globe. Consumers check labels now more so than ever before. They have refused to buy products associated with slave labour and have even recently boycotted Dolce and Gabbana over their political views on same-sex parents as well as Amazon and STARBUCKS for their tax avoidance.

When the ethos of working hard and paying a fair SHARE in taxes is always met by workers, is it not only fair that big businesses are fair in return by giving their workers a wage to live on? This has nothing to do with greed or being unfair, not on behalf of the workers anyway, but more so on the part of senior business figures. 

Adopting the living wage has everything to do with increasing standards and being fair. A living wage and fairness, on all counts of business and in this day of age, is not only productive for business but fundamentally it is the right thing to do. It drives up standards and overall, BUSINESSES making this real term INVESTMENT truly reap the REWARDS as they profit in more than one way. Not only is the living wage common sense, it is also good for business. 

The machiavellian business style of leadership is moving towards extinction, and as with evolution we need to adapt.