Alliance Manchester Business School played a key role in the launch of Manchester’s Living Wage Week, which celebrates the Living Wage movement across the city and encourages businesses to take part in the voluntary commitment.
This year, the living wage was increased to £8.45 outside of London, and £9.75 in the capital.
Dr Anthony Rafferty, senior lecturer in Employment Studies at Alliance MBS, spoke alongside Manchester luminaries including interim mayor and police commissioner Tony Lloyd, Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce CEO Clive Memmot, and mayoral candidates Andy Burnham and Jane Brophy, on the importance of the living wage and the role that Manchester is playing in the nationwide initiative.
Greater Manchester is the leading city outside of London for the promotion of the living wage, with more than 230 accredited employers in the metro region, including 130 headquartered in the city. Currently, more than three quarters of people employed in Greater Manchester earn the living wage or above although this means that around a quarter of the workforce still earn below this level..
Dr Rafferty pointed to the wider benefits of the initiative. Alongside greater fairness, research has shown that taking part enhances business reputation, recruitment prospects, employee retention and greater productivity.
He said: “Taking employee retention, for example, employers can develop longer term approaches to workforce training and development, or improve the cross-utilisation of staff across job roles, raising productivity and flexibility.
“Companies from across the spectrum in Manchester are now taking up the scheme, with retail in particular benefitting from the close link between employee and customer satisfaction. The important issues that the living wage raises around HR policies for lower paid employees are now been taken more seriously by many companies.”
This year, the scheme has benefitted from a number of high profile adopters in the North West, including IKEA and Everton Football Club.