10 December 2013

While the Chancellor was all too happy during his autumn statement to tell us that Britain currently has the lowest proportion of workless households in 17 years, he was less eager to acknowledge that most of the people in poverty are actually from working families.

How can we realistically encourage people to get up and into work if they know they are going to be better off on benefits? Whose fault is it that working adults with aspirations are slipping below the poverty line?

It seems that low wages are a major contributor to this worrying trend. The minimum wage has become something quite ugly; the absolute minimum that companies can legally get away with paying their staff. I cannot understand why some businesses are still implementing this kind of strategy and expecting loyalty from their employees.

Paying people as little as you can get away with is not just bad for those people. It is bad for business because it equates to poor productivity, high absence rates and low levels of customer service. When will companies realise that it is their responsibility to look after their team? It is our job as business owners to invest in our employees and to pay them enough to be happy and healthy.

As an employer, you get what you put in. If you give the minimum, you get the minimum back in return. Isn’t it time we focused on paying the living wage instead of allowing the minimum wage to drive those willing to work into poverty?

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