Real Living Wage…what’s it about and how can it help address poverty?

Date Published: 16 Oct 2023
Four people sitting around a table for a meeting. Each has a laptop in front of them. All looking at their screens apart from one lady in centre who is wearing a white flowered dress and is looking at camera and smiling.

This Living Wage Week – which will take place from 6 to 12 November – we’re amplifying our call to all employers to recognise the dignity and benefits of paying the Real Living Wage. 

We’re proud to be a certified Real Living Wage employer. 

We believe paying the Real Living Wage is a fundamental step employers can take to address poverty and uphold fair and ethical employment practices. 

In partnership with agencies like GM Citizens, we have made huge strides in encouraging employers to adopt the Real Living Wage, giving thousands the opportunity to receive a fair wage for their fair labour.   

Why the Real Living Wage? 

Around two-thirds (68%) of working-age adults in poverty live in a household where at least one adult is in work. Being in work should be a more effective means of preventing and alleviating poverty. We believe that paying the Real Living Wage is just one step employers can take to support this. 

Increasingly, people expect all organisations to be ethical.  This means a commitment to values such as equality, human dignity, and the dignity of work – principles deeply rooted in Catholic Social Teaching. As part of our commitment to these principles, we recognise our responsibility to prevent poverty and promote good standards of employment by paying the Real Living Wage to our employees. 

What are the benefits? 

Paying the Real Living Wage is not only the right thing to do for our co-workers, but evidence shows it’s also smart for business. It boosts staff productivity and motivation and enhances the employer’s brand and reputation too.  

It helps organisations stay competitive, retain existing staff and attract new employees. More than half of employers find it also increases the pool of talented workers applying for roles. 

Additionally, a third of employers have reported that it aids in securing contracts and funding.   

By incorporating anti-poverty measures like the Real Living Wage, we strive towards essential poverty reduction while upholding our social responsibility and ethical values. 

How to get involved? 

  • Paying the Real Living Wage: The Real Living Wage Foundation offers support in becoming accredited and guidance throughout this journey. We collaborate closely with them and can assist with this process. 
  • Engage with networks: Encourage your own employer, local parish, school, or businesses to consider paying the Real Living Wage to their employees. Engage in constructive dialogues and share the benefits of providing fair wages.  Ask them to display the Real Living Wage campaign logo on their letterheads, websites and publicity materials to show they support the campaign. 
  • Check your supply chain: Check that contractors, suppliers, or any outsourced services/products come from Real Living Wage employers.  

For more information and support, please contact us at: 

To find out more about our policy and advocacy work, visit the policy page on our website here .

Skip to content