Living Wage Foundation launches new accreditation badge for Living Wage grant-makers

Friendly Funders LWF logo

The Living Wage Foundation is the UK-wide Living Wage campaign, launched in 2011 by Citizens UK. Emma Kosmin, the Programme Manager for the South East, will be writing regular blogs to update us on research, news and what’s happening nationally. In this blog, Emma talks about the newly launched Friendly Funder scheme. 

The Living Wage Foundation, supported by the People’s Health Trust has launched a new scheme for funders to promote the Living Wage through their grant-making; the Living Wage Friendly Funder scheme.

We hope that funders in Brighton, and the organisations they support, will be interested in the scheme!

The goal is to help end low pay in the Voluntary and Community Sector, which is actually surprisingly widespread. Hundreds of charities and funders have already embraced the Living Wage across the UK, but low pay remains a real challenge across the sector.

You might be interested to learn that…

• Across the UK, one in five workers earns less than the Living Wage.
• There are more people in working families living below the poverty line than in workless and retired families in poverty combined (JRF, 2013).
• And yet less than 1% (0.4%) of UK charities have become accredited Living Wage Employers.
• Average hourly pay is lower in the third sector than the private and public sectors (UK Voluntary Sector Workforce Almanac, 2013).
• When third sector organisations become accredited, on average they move eight people up to the Living Wage and the greatest impact is on part-time in-house staff.

In committing to the scheme, funders will support grantees to pay the Living Wage to any funded staff posts.

Living Wage Friendly Funders will themselves have to be Living Wage employers and then, where possible, encourage grantees to become accredited employers over time.

The new scheme was made possible through the support of People’s Health Trust, and developed in collaboration with a range of other established funders including Trust for London, Barrow Cadbury, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Comic Relief, all of whom are themselves accredited Living Wage employers and now Living Wage Friendly Funders.

John Hume, Chief Executive, People’s Health Trust, said:

“Working with thousands of charities across Great Britain we are uniquely placed to support the take up of the Living Wage in the voluntary and community sector. We want to see the Living Wage become the norm, and believe that where organisations can pay it, they should. We want the voluntary sector to lead the way by putting our values into practice and using our influence for good, that’s where the Living Wage Friendly Funder scheme comes in. We are, alongside Comic Relief, Trust for London, Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Barrow Cadbury Trust, pleased to announce that we are Living Wage Friendly Funders. A career in the voluntary and community sector should not mean accepting low pay; salaries that equal at least the Living Wage are just one way that together we can attract, retain and develop good staff in this sector, as well as impacting positively on millions of people.”

Rhys Moore, director, Living Wage Foundation, said:

“We are delighted to be able to announce the launch of the Living Wage Friendly Funder scheme today. At a time when half of those in poverty live in a household where someone has a job, the Living Wage is much needed by families across the UK. Many organisations in the voluntary and community sectors are working hard to tackle social injustice and poverty; it’s only right that those committed to these roles are afforded at least a Living Wage. The Living Wage is a robust calculation that reflects the real cost of living, rewarding a hard day’s work with a fair day’s pay.”

To find out more about the Living Wage Foundation, or @LivingWageUK. To find out more about the local campaign for a living wage in Brighton & Hove, visit our website