Addressing an audience of business leaders and politicians as part of KPMG’s support of Fair Pay Fortnight, David Gardner, Director of Public Policy at KPMG, highlighted the importance of organisations acting responsibly and paying employees and contracted staff a Living Wage.
Speaking in KPMG’s Newcastle office to delegates at the North East Living Wage event chaired by Guy Opperman, MP for Hexham, he said: “Fair pay isn’t just fair play. Offering staff and suppliers a living wage can improve engagement and help people earn enough to afford the basics. From a business perspective, evidence suggests it’s also good for productivity. At KPMG, for example, we have seen that becoming a Living Wage employer has helped improve retention and reduced recruitment, training and sickness costs amongst staff and contractors employed by our suppliers.”
Discussing the impact of low pay, David Gardner noted that 5.2 million people – approximately 20 percent of the UK’s working population - are now paid less than the Living Wage. According to a study from KPMG, half of those earning below this level expect their finances to worsen over the next 6 months.
He added: “The principle of fair pay cannot be ignored. Yet figures suggest that there are still too many people across the UK earning too little making Fair Pay Fortnight the perfect opportunity for employers to consider whether they can join the growing list of businesses paying a Living Wage. It may not be possible or practical for everyone, but all organisations need to do what they can to address the problem of low pay. Of course, change cannot happen instantly, but making an initial assessment is an important first step.”
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Mike Petrook, KPMG Press Office
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Nahidur Rahman, KPMG Press Office
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KPMG Press Office: +44 (0) 207 694 8773
KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, is a subsidiary of KPMG Europe LLP and operates from 22 offices across the UK with approximately 11,500 partners and staff. The UK firm recorded a turnover of £1.8 billion in the year ended September 2013. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. It operates in 155 countries and has 155,000 professionals working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.
This article represents the views of the author only, and does not necessarily represent the views or professional advice of KPMG in the UK.