Mind the pay gap the living wage and zero hours

Discussion paper

  • Sustainability
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01 August 2015

Discussion paper


Perhaps counter-intuitively, the media’s fixation on the misuse of zero-hours contracts could give FM an opportunity to reverse negative preconceptions about what they offer. The reality is that individual workers are more often empowered through their use on FM contracts, not entrapped.

Similarly, the Living Wage has come to prominence at exactly the right time for it to be used to show the appreciable difference between the worst-performing FM contracts and the best. In only two years, awareness and use of the Living Wage has grown tenfold. 

FM is increasingly capable of demonstrating how successful delivery of facilities services boosts overall organisational performance. At a time of such a keen focus on the UK’s lamentable standard of productivity when compared to its G7 cousins, what the current environment offers is an opportunity for FM to ‘own’ these issues, concluded the most recent BIFM Leaders’ Forum panel. 

There are difficulties in FM showing a united face when many of its service providers continue to treat the issue of staff development so differently. But ultimately, FM has a duty of care to pay a wage on which its personnel can manage.

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