Low pay: IWFM puts the profession’s point of view to the UK Government

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16 July 2020

Money

On Wednesday 15 July, IWFM provided views and insight from the workplace and facilities management profession on the issue of low pay to the Low Pay Commission (LPC).

The LPC is the independent public body that advises the UK Government about the National Minimum Wage and the National Living Wage. This is the fourth time we have been invited to submit oral evidence to the LPC’s annual consultation on future wage rates.

Oral evidence sessions are an opportunity to inform the LPC about the effects, both positive and negative, of minimum wage rates on businesses and help to set the pay levels the LPC recommends to the Government. This year, the LPC was particularly keen to hear evidence from, amongst others, the cleaning and security sectors - professions whose roles and profiles have been in the spotlight throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

At the evidence session, IWFM was represented by our Head of Research and Insights, Peter Brogan, who was joined by Soo Bartholomew, Technical Director at Birkin Cleaning Services Ltd, and Troy Moffatt, Commercial Director at First Response Group. Soo and Troy provided valuable insight on the challenges facing their respective businesses and sectors, particularly on dealing with the effects of COVID-19. They also highlighted the lack of compulsory regulation and licensing for businesses within their industries, a situation which potentially allows unscrupulous business practice and the exploitation of workers.

Following the session, Soo commented: ‘The cleaning industry has always been the first one to suffer at the hands of those who hold the purse strings when any cutbacks were needed or when pay negotiations were underway. Hopefully, in light of the global pandemic, the value and skills of cleaning operatives in providing a safe and hygienic environment for us all to live and work in will reap rewards in what they are paid and give them the chance to bridge the gap between poverty and prosperity.’

As a Living Wage Employer and a member of the Living Wage Foundation Recognised Service Providers Leadership Group, IWFM actively supports and promotes the real Living Wage to clients and supply chains within facilities management. In partnership with the Living Wage Foundation, we have produced new guidance on the Living Wage and the benefits and practicalities of paying it. The guidance is designed to help members make the business case for fair wages by sharing evidence of the link between higher rates of pay and improved service delivery and performance.

To find out more about IWFM’s work on pay and employment issues, please click here.