The Living Wage Foundation has reported a groundswell in support for responsible pay in the charity sector, with more charities signing up to the real Living Wage (LW) than ever before.
So far, 1,041 third sector organisations have chosen to take up LW accreditation – ranging from major household names including Oxfam, Save the Children and Macmillan Cancer Support, to small local projects serving communities across the UK.
Three hundred and sixty-four (or 35%) of these organisations employ fewer than 10 people, and 794 (76%) of them employ fewer than 50, showing that the LW commitment is possible for small charitable organisations.
Accredited charities must ensure that everyone working for them – regardless of whether they are direct employees or third-party contracted staff – receive a minimum hourly wage of £9.75 in London or £8.45 in the rest of the UK. Both these rates are significantly higher than the statutory minimum wage for over 25, which was uprated to £7.50 an hour in April 2017.
Grant-makers to charities have also joined in, with 27 Friendly Funders enabling fair pay by funding posts at the LiW rate. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the People’s Health Trust, the Big Lottery Fund, Comic Relief, City Bridge Trust and Lloyds Bank Foundation are some of the organisations that have signed up.
John Hume, chief executive of the People’s Health Trust said: “Living Wage Friendly Funders support charities to pay the real Living Wage that meets the cost of living, through their grant-making. We want to see the Living Wage become the norm, and believe that funding organisations can lead the way in making this happen within the Voluntary Sector.”