Blog

Party Ingredients are accredited as a London Living Wage Employer

Here at PI we are very excited to announce that we have become the 578th business in the UK to pay the Living wage!

We believe that paying the Living Wage is a responsible action that allows people to sustain themselves, which gives them dignity and improves their overall quality of life. A total of 88 out of 130 members of our staff, mainly waiting staff and cleaners, have been directly affected by the increase and have begun to reap the benefits before our official accreditation. Sustainability is a massive part of our business and as our MD, Vicky O'Hare says “If our staff can’t sustain themselves we are failing not only our employees, but we are failing at being truly a sustainable business”. We see the Living Wage as fundamental to our aim to be a fully sustainable company and we feel that it really helps to address our social responsibility.

Research has shown that 85% of bar and waiting staff are paid below the Living Wage, which is currently set at £7.65 for the UK and £8.80 for London. The London Living Wage is calculated by the Greater London Authority and is based on the basic cost of living in the City, the Living Wage Association argue that working “…should be the surest way out of poverty.” However many low paid workers often have more than one job in order to make ends meet, which then means that they have very limited time and money to enjoy a decent quality of life. Employers who have already started to pay the living wage have not only greatly improved the lives of their employees but have noticed several benefits themselves, including improvement in employee productivity, improved staff retention and a 25% decrease in absenteeism.

Paying the Living Wage does not only benefit the employee and the company, it has a much wider reaching benefit in that it reduces the number of people who rely on the state to subsidise their low wages. Vicky highlights this point by saying “It is everyone’s responsibility to help this country recover from recession. The misuse of tax payers’ money on benefits is highly publicised and criticised, but we must look at what we can do to help and the living wage is a very real solution. If people are paid a wage they can realistically live on they will not need the state to subsidise them and the money can be used in more productive ways to benefit more people.”

There are currently only 14 accredited hospitality employers paying the Living Wage and we're concerned that the hospitality industry will continue to be marginalised as a “stop gap” career option unless wages and progression are addressed by more employers. Tom Clarkson, Event Staffing Manager at PI says that the culture at the company is focused around job satisfaction. “We pride ourselves on having a happy work force which allows us to deliver an exceptional level of customer service. Job satisfaction is key to ensuring a high level or service can be delivered and that simply can’t happen if hard work is inadequately rewarded.” We would like to take the time to urge all of our stakeholders to ensure that their lowest paid staff are paid at least the Living Wage and take responsibility for their social impact as employers. Sarah Haggie from the Sales Department says “The more companies who come on board with the Living Wage the greater the social impact and the more significant the changes.”

To find out more about Living Wage and how to become a Living Wage Employer click here.