As a charity with a single aim of helping people obtain new skills and opportunities to gain employment, ELATT believes that once people gain employment, they should be able to afford to have a decent standard of living. This is why ELATT has opted to be an accredited London Living Wage Employer.
The living wage is an informal benchmark, a salary that is set independently by accredited employers. This wage is not an enforceable minimum level of pay, like the national minimum wage, but it accounts for the minimum pay rate that enables employees to afford to meet their basic needs and lead a dignified life.
As a London Living Wage Employer, ELATT provides a wage that is defined by the amount it costs to enable its staff to maintain a safe, healthy and acceptable standard of living. Anthony Harmer, Chief Executive of ELATT says, "Staff members are the most valued assets at ELATT, they work so hard and are deeply committed to helping people find work to escape the cycle of poverty. I think that providing people with the London Living Wage is a good way of making the workplace fairer and more prosperous, and demonstrating that their hard work is appreciated."
Peter Vermeulen, Chair of ELATT, adds: "Much as we are dedicated to helping our students improve their lives by gaining employment, we also believe that our staff deserve to feel that working at ELATT has, and will continue to, improve their lives. Giving our staff the London Living Wage is an excellent way of showing them that we will participate in positive campaigns, legislations and ethical codes of conduct as an employer, to ensure that a good quality of life can be sustained while working at ELATT. We are proud to be celebrated as a accredited Living Wage Employer alongside other respected organisations such as Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, UNICEF, Amnesty International, and our corporate partner: Linklaters."
Research from the Journal of Labour*, shows that the minimum wage and the living wage impact poverty differently. Evidence demonstrates that while the living wage modestly reduces poverty, the minimum wage does nothing to alleviate poverty. Although the causes of poverty are complex, there are a growing number of employers and policy makers in Britain who believe that higher wages through higher production can promote a stable growth for society. This means that the Living Wage could be part of the solution to reducing poverty, which is why ELATT has signed up to this legislation.
At ELATT we want our staff to be able to support themselves and their families with dignity under our employment, because we think that work should bring a sense of stability, responsibility and hope, which can come from the favourable remuneration of a living wage.
* Clain, S (2008). How Living Wage Legislation Affects U.S. Poverty Rates. Journal of Labour Research.