While BAE Systems already pays its 35,300 direct UK employees the real Living Wage, the Company has committed to roll the rate out to contractors working on its sites across the UK as part of its accreditation.
Debbie Allen, Group Director Governance, Conduct & Sustainability, BAE Systems, said: “Paying the Living Wage is not only the right thing to do, it also makes good business sense. Our people are at the centre of everything we do. We’re committed to investing in our employees, compensating them fairly for the highly-skilled jobs they do and ensuring they’re paid a wage which allows them to support themselves and their families.”
Ian Waddell, CSEU General Secretary, said: “This is a powerful example of trade unions and a major British employer working together to bring about real change. Trade unions and BAE Systems are rooted in our communities across the whole of the UK and this initiative once again shows our positive impact.”
Rhys McCarthy, Unite National Officer who has been working with BAE Systems on their accreditation, said: “Unite would like to thank our workplace representatives who requested BAE Systems become a real living wage company. Our members are at the heart of their communities and we are pleased BAE Systems worked so positively with Unite to ensure hundreds of indirectly employed staff across the company will be rewarded with a well-deserved pay rise.”
The real Living Wage is an hourly rate of pay set independently and updated annually. It is calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK and provides a voluntary benchmark for employers that wish to ensure their staff earn a wage they can live on. Today, the Living Wage Foundation announced the rates for 2022/2023 will be £9.90 and £11.05 in London – significantly higher than the national living wage for over-23s, which is currently £8.91.
According to the Living Wage Foundation, since 2001, the campaign has impacted over 300,000 workers and delivered over £1.6bn extra to some of the lowest paid workers in the UK. If just a quarter of those on low incomes saw their pay raised to the real Living Wage, it could deliver a £1.5bn economic boost to the UK economy, according to recent research by The Smith Institute.