Why we're backing the Living Wage Campaign

At our Church Council meeting this week, we resolved to go a bit further when it comes to pay.

We already ensure that all of our staff are paid the London Living Wage. By seeking accreditation as a Living Wage Employer, we're going to be joining a campaign that's making a real difference in lives across the capital. We're going to ask that those employed for significant amounts of time on our property are also properly paid for the work that they do.
We believe that it is wrong that people should have to do multiple jobs and work long hours and yet still live in poverty - a reality that many families face. People and their work are different to commodities that are bought and sold in the market. We need to value the gifts and talents they bring to us, recognising that all people are created in the image of God.

Low pay is a problem for the whole community. Too much public money is spent subsidising employers who don't pay properly. When people are stressed by working long hours with little reward, they do not have the time or resources to spend with their families or to participate in communal activities. Nationally, there is a very high economic and social cost to poverty as a result of poor health, high crime and educational failure.

Paying the Living Wage also makes good business sense. Employers report that paying decent wages improves staff moral and increases productivity. KPMG and Barclays, for example, have seen the turnover of their cleaning staff fall by half. There is very little evidence that living wage policies lead to job losses.

Throughout the Bible, we are encouraged to make provision for the poorest and to be just in our dealings. It’s clear that God’s standards of justice require employers to be pay realistically, not whatever the market permits.

The Church of England strongly supports the Living Wage Campaign stating, “The Living Wage campaign is a great mission opportunity for the church and a chance to speak positively into public life. Churches have been heavily involved in the Living Wage campaign from the start alongside other faith, community and labour organisations. Church Action on Poverty has been actively campaigning for the Living Wage for many years. As well as encouraging other employers to pay the Living Wage, it is important for the Church to lead by example in the way it treats its own staff. In the last few years, all the major denominations - Methodists, Catholics, Baptists, URC, Church of Scotland, as well as the Church of England - have formally endorsed the Living Wage.”