Press ReleaseUWS

Utmost Group demonstrates its commitment to the real Living Wage, becoming accredited by the Living Wage Foundation

12 August 2021

Utmost Group is pleased to announce that it has become an accredited Living Wage Employer in the UK. Our Living Wage commitment is confirmation that all UK employees at the Utmost Group earn at least the real Living Wage. This commitment applies not only to directly employed staff but also to our third party contracted staff.

The real Living Wage is an independently calculated hourly rate of pay based on the actual cost of living. It is currently £9.50 in the UK with a higher rate of £10.85 in London, reflecting the higher costs of living in the capital. Both rates are significantly higher than the government minimum for over 23s, which currently stands at £8.91 per hour.

Utmost Group is based in London, a region where nearly a fifth of all jobs (19%) pay less than the real Living Wage – around 785,000 jobs. Despite this, Utmost Group has committed to pay the real Living Wage and deliver a fair day’s pay for a hard day’s work.

The real Living Wage is the only rate calculated according to the costs of living. It provides a voluntary benchmark for employers that wish to ensure their staff earn a wage they can live on, not just the government minimum. Since 2011 the Living Wage movement has delivered a pay rise to over 250,000 people and put over £1.3 billion extra into the pockets of low paid workers.

The accreditation demonstrates the Group’s commitment to creating a positive impact in the communities where we operate, a core part of our sustainability strategy.

Although the Living Wage Foundation is focussed on the UK, Utmost Group monitors its employees pay across all our locations and ensures fair pay for work undertaken.

Paul Thompson, Utmost Group CEO commented:

“We are proud to support the work of the Living Wage Foundation by becoming an accredited employer and ensure our UK-based employees and third party contracted staff will be paid the real Living Wage as a minimum. It is the right thing to do, especially in these challenging times. It will help us attract and retain a diverse range of colleagues which brings benefits to the communities where we operate.”

Laura Gardiner, Director, Living Wage Foundation commented:

“We are delighted that Utmost Group has joined the movement of over 7,000 responsible employers across the UK who voluntarily commit to go further than the government minimum to make sure all their staff earn enough to live on.

They join thousands of small businesses, as well as household names such as Burberry, Barclays, Everton Football Club and many more. These businesses recognise that paying the real Living Wage is the mark of a responsible employer and they, like Utmost Group, believe that a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay.”

 

For further information, please contact:

Utmost Group plc

Anne Marie Shepherd, Head of Strategy and Corporate Affairs

Tel: +44 (0)203 861 4347 / Email: annemarie.shepherd@utmostgroup.co.uk

About Utmost Group plc

Utmost Group plc is a leading provider of insurance and savings solutions. Its principal businesses are Utmost International and Utmost Life and Pensions, which together are responsible for over £37bn of primarily unit linked policyholder assets for over 500,000 customers. Utmost Group plc is group regulated by the PRA.

About the Living Wage

The real Living Wage is the only rate calculated according to what people need to make ends meet. It provides a voluntary benchmark for employers that choose to take a stand by ensuring their staff earn a wage that meets the costs and pressures they face in their everyday lives.

The UK Living Wage is currently £9.50 per hour. There is a separate London Living Wage rate of £10.85 per hour to reflect the higher costs of transport, childcare and housing in the capital. These figures are calculated annually by the Resolution Foundation and overseen by the Living Wage Commission, based on the best available evidence on living standards in London and the UK.

The Living Wage Foundation is the organisation at the heart of the movement of businesses, organisations and individuals who campaign for the simple idea that a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay. The Living Wage Foundation receives guidance and advice from the Living Wage Advisory Council. The Foundation is supported by our principal partners: Aviva; IKEA; Joseph Rowntree Foundation; KPMG; Linklaters; Nationwide; Nestle; Resolution Foundation; Oxfam; Trust for London; People’s Health Trust; and Queen Mary University of London.

What about the Government’s national living wage?

In July 2015 the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced that the UK Government would introduce a compulsory ‘national living wage’. It was introduced in April 2016, originally applying for all workers over the age of 25, and, as of April 2021, is currently £8.91 an hour and applies for workers over the age of 23. The rate is different to the Living Wage rates calculated by the Living Wage Foundation. The government rate is based on median earnings while the Living Wage Foundation rates are calculated according to the cost of living in London and the UK.