Low Pay: IWFM responds to government consultation on future wage rates 

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  • Employment and Skills

15 July 2021

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Today (15 July) IWFM submitted evidence to the Low Pay Commission (LPC), the independent body which advises government on the levels of the National Living Wage (NLW) and the National Minimum Wage (NMW).

IWFM Head of Research and Insight, Peter Brogan, took part in an oral evidence session with LPC Commissioners to provide an overview of the workplace and facilities management profession, its contribution to the UK economy - notably in keeping people and workplaces healthy and safe during the pandemic - and the practices and policies which impact on its members. He also spoke about how the FM sector responds to the NMW/NLW rates and some of the challenges it faces in the wider environment.

This is the fifth year that IWFM has taken part in this annual consultation which will shape the LPC’s recommendations (invariably accepted by the Government) on the minimum wage rates to apply from the following April. We welcome this opportunity to put forward evidence on the impact of the NLW/NMW in our profession as these rates affect many low-paid employees within the sector, especially on the soft services side.

We have also submitted a detailed written response to the consultation, looking at the impacts of the pandemic on business conditions in the sector, in particular on employment and hours, pay and benefits, and the prospects for economic recovery.

Both our oral evidence and written submission were principally informed by the results of two of our regular surveys of our members and the wider profession. The IWFM Market Outlook Survey 2021 report revealed an emerging optimism within the sector tempered by concerns about the unknown economic climate and the potential long-term impact on the sector of widespread changes in working practices. Meanwhile, the recently published IWFM Pay and Prospects Survey 2021 report reflects the impact of the coronavirus pandemic across a range of topics, from employment expectations to advancement ambitions.

For many years, IWFM has advocated that people must be paid a fair wage for a day’s work. We actively support this as an accredited Living Wage Employer and a member of the Living Wage Foundation Recognised Service Providers Leadership Group, sector organisations who promote the real Living Wage (a higher rate than the National Living Wage) to clients and supply chains, helping to end low pay in the UK’s poorer paid service sectors. In partnership with the Living Wage Foundation, we have produced guidance on the Living Wage, outlining the benefits and practicalities of paying it for the FM profession.

If you have any comments or queries on this article, please email: policy@iwfm.org.uk