Network Rail and the Living Wage Foundation are partnering to encourage more employers in the UK rail industry to pay their staff the real Living Wage.
Network Rail became an accredited Living Wage Employer in November 2020. This means it has committed to paying all its directly employed and regular third-party staff the current Living Wage rates of £10.85 in London and £9.50 across the UK. The rates are reviewed each November to ensure they always meet the cost of living for workers and their families.
Network Rail is encouraging its suppliers, partners, and peers in the industry to follow suit and join over 7,500 other accredited employers across the country, including over 40% of the FTSE 100, thousands of SMEs, and others rail companies like TfL, Northern, and ScotRail.
In-work poverty is a persistent problem in the UK, with 5.5 million people earning less than the real Living Wage. That’s over a fifth of the workforce. The problem is particularly acute for working women – nearly a quarter are paid less than the Living Wage. Over a quarter of parents working full time and earning below the Living Wage have had to skip meals due to financial constraints.
But Living Wage Employers across the country are doing their bit to help turn this tide. Over 250,000 workers have had a pay rise thanks to them, resulting in over £1.3bn of additional pay being put back into the pockets of low-paid families.
And the real Living Wage is good for business too! A survey of Living Wage Employers by Cardiff Business School found that 93% had experience benefits from their accreditation. These include improved recruitment and retention, increased staff motivation, and improved corporate reputation.
Loraine Martins, Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Network Rail, said:
“I am delighted that Network Rail has been accredited as a real Living Wage Employer. While we already pay our 41,000 employees the Real Living Wage, official accreditation by the Living Wage Foundation means that thousands of rail workers in our supply chain will also benefit.
“The varied work that rail staff carry out on our trains, in our stations and on our tracks has never been more important than in recent months, where they have helped to keep Britain connected in challenging times by running a safe and reliable service for key workers and others relying on the railway. Our work with contractors and the Living Wage Foundation will ensure that railway staff are paid appropriately for their vital work.”
To find out how your organisation can join the movement of responsible employers, visit www.livingwage.org.uk/become-a-living-wage-employer