Leading a sustainable future: can you help to cushion the cost-of-living crisis?


  • Employment and Skills,
  • Facilities,
  • Sustainability

09 May 2022

Living wage

The cost-of-living crisis is biting. Our own Market Outlook Survey 2022 evidences the major trends fuelling the crisis in the UK. Energy prices came top, followed by supply chain disruption, Brexit effects, the availability of skilled workers - including from the EU - and the state of the UK economy. These factors are all cooling expectations of an improved facilities management market, chilled perhaps further by the 40% we surveyed still regarding COVID-19 as having a negative impact; that was before the war in Ukraine.

Three months into the conflict, we’re seeing the worsening effect of energy prices and supply chain disruptions. With daily reports about people struggling to pay their bills and being compelled to use food banks (increasingly as their usual place to shop) what can our profession do for those worst affected in their employment, either directly or through service providers?

Pay is an obvious focus. IWFM has long advocated fair wages. We’ve built it into the social value framework we developed with the National Social Value Taskforce, the National TOMs Facilities Management Plug In and we have walked the talk ourselves, which brings us to the real Living Wage and its positive impacts.

IWFM is both an accredited Living Wage Employer and a member of the Living Wage Foundation’s Recognised Service Providers Leadership Group, a group of organisations and businesses who promote the real Living Wage to directly employed workers and through supply chains across the workplace and facilities management sector.

To help our members make the business case for fairer wages, our guidance note The Living Wage: Why pay it and what does it mean for our profession? looks at the benefits of adopting the Living Wage both to employees and organisations with case studies and testimonials.

In the current crisis, it matters more than ever to strengthen our commitment in this area and help make a difference through our profession and the relationships we manage.  We will support the work of the Living Wage Foundation to Make London a Living Wage City.

The aim of this four-year project is to lift 50,000 people out of in-work poverty and to secure £635m of additional wages for Londoners. Whilst most, if not all sectors that employ night workers operate in the daytime; the extra strain that workers are exposed to by working non-traditional hours demands that they be paid the London Living Wage as a minimum.

To achieve that aim, several action groups will be established in sectors most affected by poverty pay and insecure work, including one focusing on night workers.

The role of the Night-time Economy Action Group will be to provide advice on the sector strategy and direction of this project. Its efforts will focus on workers often overlooked from hospitality, catering and cleaning with the space to expand to other facilities management sectors.

How can you help?  IWFM will have a seat on the Night-time Economy Action Group and we are looking for help from members, especially those in the London Region, to support the work of the Group.

Interested? Please get in touch at: policy@iwm.org.uk