Reacting to the publication, today, of a report by the Equality & Human Rights Commission, which focuses on the low pay and poor working conditions facing the UK’s commercial cleaning workforce, Guy Stallard, Head of Facilities at KPMG, suggests that organisations have a responsibility to ensure all employees avoid the ‘working poverty’ trap.
He says: “By paying a fair, living, wage, organisations are more likely to cut staff costs, rather than raise them because it improves retention and reduces staff churn. It’s easy to assume that low wages equal higher profits, but the expense incurred through attrition rates, reduced productivity and low morale suggest otherwise.”
KPMG adopted the Living Wage in 2006 and ensures that staff employed through cleaning contractors can work flexibly and are paid the Living Wage. As a result, turnover of cleaning staff fell from 44 to 27 percent in the first 12 months and since the changes were introduced, the cost of running facilities has dropped by £1 million.
Guy Stallard adds: “The paying public are increasingly aware that paying a living wage can make a real difference, and many are suggesting they will change their purchasing habits if organisations fail to clean up their act. Today’s report urges businesses to support the Living Wage. It’s a message that should be heeded because organisations have a duty of care to their staff as well as a commercial obligation to all their stakeholders ensuring that everything possible is being done to deliver high performance at the lowest possible cost. Paying a Living Wage can, in our experience, achieve both objectives.”
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Mike Petrook, KPMG Press Office
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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.