The UK water industry has the chance to become the first sector to be entirely Living Wage accredited

Water companies should pay their staff a living wage. The UK water industry has the chance to become the first sector to be entirely Living Wage accredited.

UNISON is campaigning for all UK water companies to become accredited as Living Wage Employers, as defined by the Living Wage Foundation.

The current rates, announced on 31 October 2016,  are £8.45 an hour for the UK outside of London and £9.7.5 in London; this is the minimum pay required for individuals and families to live a life free of poverty.


New living wage rates announced

UNISON welcomes increase to £8.45 (outside London) and £9.75 (London) an hour at start of Living Wage Week

Living wage in the water industry

Even on the proper living wage, it would take nearly 130 years for the lowest paid employees in the water industry to earn the same as the highest paid director in the sector does in 12 months, according to new research published by UNISON today (Wednesday). This analysis of pay at the UK’s 19 water […]

Making Waves for the Living Wage – the tide is turning in our favour

Today we’re launching a new campaign – “Making Waves for the Living Wage” calling on all UK the water industry to sign up as accredited Living Wage employers with the Living Wage Foundation.

The issue

We know water companies can afford to become accredited Living Wage Employers. Four companies (South East Water, Scottish Water, Northumbrian Water and Yorkshire Water) are already accredited Living Wage employers and a number of others are considering taking this step. Our campaign is about giving them a firm nudge in the right direction.

Research from the New Policy Institute found that less than 10% of employees in the water industry were paid below the Living Wage in 2014. At the same time profits in the industry have been soaring. The 18 privately owned water companies in England and Wales had retained excess profits of £1.2bn over the past five years.

We are asking all Members of Parliament to sign the cross party Early Day Motion 1185, which calls on companies to pay the Living Wage.
UNISON was among the first organisations in the country to support the Living Wage, arguing for its implementation in national and sector-wide pay bargaining, local campaigns and as part of its submissions to the Low Pay Commission during the process of setting the National Minimum Wage.

Across the UK, there are now almost 2,000 employers accredited as Living Wage employers by the Living Wage Foundation, including some of the largest private companies in the UK, such as Barclays, HSBC, and IKEA. Over a quarter of the FTSE 100 companies are now accredited.

UNISON will be launching its campaign, with all the information about which companies are accredited (or seeking accreditation) and those who are not, at a parliamentary reception on 20th April 2016.