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Pay workers fairly or lose customers, warns KPMG

Consumers will change their buying habits and shop elsewhere if British businesses fail to pay staff a fair wage. According to a survey of more than 1,000 individuals across the UK, most people believe that the country's continued economic recovery demands a close examination of the UK's wage structure – and many think that the lowest paid workers should be the first to benefit.

The survey, conducted by Censuswide for KPMG, reveals that 52% are willing to pay higher prices if the money goes directly into employees' pockets. Four out of 10 respondents also claim they will not hesitate to shop elsewhere if their preferred store doesn't pay the Living Wage. Just 13% suggest they won't alter shopping habits, arguing that employers can pay what they want.

There is also a strong belief that UK productivity and performance will improve, if employers pay a Living Wage. For example, asked about the service level they expect to see, 61% suggest that if staff in a pub, restaurant or hotel were paid a Living, rather than Minimum, Wage there would be a visible improvement in customer care. Four out of five also argue that individuals shouldn't have to work more than 60 hours per week to earn enough to live on, believing that excessive hours adversely affect morale and output.

Mike Kelly, KPMG 's Head of Living Wage, says: “For the past six years employers have been able to hide behind the notion that a downtrodden economy has enforced a freeze on wages. However, with the IMF revising its forecasts upwards, there can be no more excuses to ignore the principle of fair pay. A year ago there were just over 200 accredited Living Wage Employers and with that number now rising to more than 750, it is clear many organisations realise the benefits of offering a salary on which direct, or third-party, employees can live.

The research was conducted during May 2014 and has been published ahead of the release of the Living Wage Commission's final report on low pay and the Living Wage, on 24 June 2014.


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UK & NI Ireland | Living Wage

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