On 3rd February 2015 Heidi Alexander MP put forward a 10 minute rule Bill.
Heidi Alexander’s Bill was to require listed companies to report annually on the percentage of their staff paid below a Living Wage.
In support of this bill she cites Jane Jefferson Cleaning as an example to how big business should operate.
“Paying workers a wage that supports a decent standard of living is not just the responsible thing to do; the research shows that there are also clear business benefits. Low pay has high costs, in reduced productivity, higher absenteeism and lower staff retention. It is for those reasons that over 1,000 companies have now signed up to be accredited living wage employers, from the energy company SSE to Chelsea football club.
Big and small employers alike now pay a living wage. The south London-based Jane Jefferson Cleaning, whose tagline is “The Only Way is Ethics”, is the only domestic cleaning company to be recognised by the Living Wage Foundation. If a small cleaning company can pay the living wage, why can firms that have multi-million pound salaries at the top not pay it at the bottom? A director in a FTSE 100 company now earns, on average, 130 times more than their average employee, and 300 times more than the living wage, yet only 18 of those 100 companies pay the living wage. The Government’s policy of “wait and see” on low pay has clearly failed. Legislating for greater transparency would celebrate the best employers and expose injustice to public pressure.
Britain cannot continue on its current path. The Government have failed to create the decent jobs and decent wages that we need for the next generation. Instead, they have preferred a silent race to the bottom, masked by loud trumpeting of falls in unemployment without a care for the nature and pay conditions of the jobs created.”
We thank Heidi for raising this very important issue and increasing awareness that some companies are committed to fair pay and whilst we understand the challenges for many business’, fair pay and employment rights are critical to ending wage insecurity in London.