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To celebrate Living Wage Week, our Head of Supply Chain and Procurement, Filip Leonard, discusses how becoming a Living Wage Employer has had an impact far beyond our workforce.

At the start of 2021, Maximus became the first business in our sector to be accredited as a Living Wage Employer. For us, it was an important step, following months of engagement with suppliers, and forming part of our wider commitment to increase our impact in the communities we serve.

It is estimated that one in six working households are experiencing in-work poverty – working households that are struggling to meet ends meet. We pay our employees a salary that reflects the real cost of living in the UK and London, supporting the principle that a fair day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay. Given the heightened cost of living many are facing, this has become more important than ever before.

As the vast majority of our workforce were already receiving a Real Living Wage, for us it meant that our main focus was working with our supply chain partners to ensure a Real Living Wage was paid to everyone supporting our business.

Today, all new suppliers we work with are contracted to be Real Living Wage employers - it’s part of our new Code of Conduct for Suppliers that includes additional measures focused on ethics, pay and workplace policies. This year we began delivering the Restart Scheme on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions. The new Scheme supports long-term unemployed people back into work. As part of our delivery, we have partnered with local partners across South and West Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and South and East London – all of whom are paying their employees the Real Living Wage. In total, this affects hundreds of employees in our supply chain.

Being a Real Living Wage employer is not only the right thing to do, but evidence suggests that it also increases staff recruitment, retention and attendance. As part of our ongoing commitment, we’ve shared our experiences and actively promoted the benefits of introducing the Real Living Wage with other organisations through events and engagement.

>> Find out more about the work carried out by the Living Wage Foundation