London Stock Exchange welcomes ShareAction and the Living Wage Foundation

London Stock Exchange welcomes ShareAction and the Living Wage Foundation

To mark the conclusion of Living Wage Week 2017, ShareAction and the Living Wage Foundation were delighted to lead the Market Opening Ceremony at the London Stock Exchange on Friday 10th November 2017.

Joined by leading businesses and institutional investors, today's opening of the London markets celebrated the positive impacts of adopting the Living Wage standards, both on workers and on the business outlook of FTSE listed companies.

The Living Wage is calculated annually to take account of the minimum hourly rate necessary for housing, food and other basic needs. On 6th November, Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, announced the revised Living Wage rates as £10.20 in London and £8.75 across the rest of the UK.

Over one-third of the FTSE 100, including London Stock Exchange Group, are now accredited Living Wage employers. As a result of the leadership demonstrated by these companies, 15,000 employees in the UK have directly benefited from a pay rise equating to a combined total of £60 million.

As well as helping to secure a company's social licence to operate, paying a Living Wage makes strong business sense. The real Living Wage has been shown to boost productivity and staff morale, reduce staff turnover and absenteeism, and improve a company’s reputation and distinction as a responsible business.

ShareAction, the responsible investment charity, mobilises pension savers and institutional investors to encourage leading companies to pay their workers and on-site contractors a fair wage. Since 2011, ShareAction has coordinated the Investor Collaborative for the Living Wage that engages with FTSE 100 companies on the business case behind Living Wage accreditation. For these investors, the Living Wage represents a clear marker of responsible business practice. These efforts continue as, despite recent progress, a shocking 1 in 5 UK employees continue to experience in-work poverty.

Catherine Howarth, ShareAction’s Chief Executive commented:
"We are delighted to have been invited to today's Market Opening Ceremony. The investor stewardship and company leadership on the Living Wage to date deserves recognition and what better way to do so than by opening the Stock Market. The Living Wage movement demonstrates how investing in staff truly enables you to reap returns as a business in the short and long-term. The workforce is key to delivering sustainable business success and those workers need to share in the rewards."