Charity Sector Pay

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2023 National Community Conference and Seminar
8 November 2022
Carried as Amended

Conference notes the publication of the Law Family Commission on Civil Society study, carried out by Pro Bono Economics in August 2022 entitled “The price of purpose? Pay gaps in the charity sector” which identifies that charity staff in the UK are paid 7% less per hour on average than workers in other sectors and that charity sector employees were collectively paid an estimated £1.5 billion less than their counterparts in other sectors in 2019.

Additionally recent Bank of England data showed that the cost of living crisis is causing the pay gap to grow – with average wages rising in the year to May 2022 by approximately 3.8% among charities, compared with 5.6% for businesses.

Conference is concerned that this growing pay gap threatens to weaken the sector and its impact at a time of increasing demand for charities’ services. With four in five charities already saying they are struggling to recruit at present, this systemic low pay is likely to exacerbate the problem by limiting the potential pool of workers, their diversity, and ultimately undervalues sector.

Conference believes that the charity sector where our Community members work, are the life blood of a functioning democratic society and that our members deserve to be remunerated appropriately for their contribution and dedication.

Community members know first-hand how low pay can affect morale in the workforce, particularly during a cost of living crisis, and that this has the potential to drive people out of the sector at a time when demand for our charities’ services is accelerating.

Conference therefore calls on the Community Service Group Executive to:

a) Continue to keep pay central to its national bargaining agenda by highlighting pay disparity across our nations/regions.

b) Identify key pay and funding campaigning issues within the sector and take them forward.

c) Highlight the effects of low pay in our sectors and the impact this is having on the recruitment and retention of women, young workers and workers with protected characteristics under the Equality Act.

d) Work with UNISON Labour Link, the National Executive Council and other stakeholders including lobbying political parties in positions of power and influence in Scotland, Cymru/Wales and Northern Ireland to highlight the issues of sectoral pay and the impact this has on the survival of the charity sector, Community members and the services we provide.