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Accreditation to tackle UK’s culture of precarious employment

The Living Wage Foundation’s scheme to tackle insecure work is gathering pace amid the cost-of-living crisis, with 100 UK employers now signed up to provide secure and stable hours to their staff with a Living Hours accreditation.

The Living Wage Foundation’s scheme to tackle insecure work is gathering pace amid the cost-of-living crisis, with 100 UK employers now signed up to provide secure and stable hours to their staff with a Living Hours accreditation.

Living Hours Employers are challenging the UK’s culture of precarious employment, which sees 3.4 million people facing soaring inflation in low paying jobs that have been known to give less than 24 hours’ notice of shifts. The number and security of hours people work is a key driver of in-work poverty, alongside their rate of pay.

Living Hours sees employers commit to providing at least 4 weeks’ notice for every shift, with guaranteed payment if shifts are cancelled within this notice period. Living Hours employers also provide a guaranteed minimum of 16 working hours every week (unless the worker requests fewer), and a contract that accurately reflects hours worked. This commitment extends to regular third-party contractors.

Early adopters of the Living Hours measures include major employers like Aviva, SpareRoom and Wealthify, as well as small and medium-sized businesses across the country. Over 45,000 employees stand to benefit from the measures so far.

Katherine Chapman, Director of the Living Wage Foundation, said: “Over the past year, low pay and insecure employment have played a huge role in pushing households to the financial brink. Reaching 100 accredited Living Hours employers is a significant milestone that shows the growing momentum behind the movement for secure hours and decent pay in the UK.

“Predictable working hours alongside a real Living Wage are the bedrock of stable finances and a dignified life, yet millions of people still need both. It’s fantastic to see more and more employers leading the way in providing Living Hours alongside the Living Wage and we encourage others to sign up if they can.”

Damian Rushworth, Managing Director of Living Hours accredited recycling plant Zixtel, said: Ensuring our staff received both the Living Wage and Living Hours was a decision we made to recognise the hard work and commitment of our team. Our business relies on the dedication and commitment from our workforce, without their hard work we would not have the thriving business we have today. The foundation of our success is built from the ground up, each person is invaluable to the business and that should be recognised and rewarded.

“There are also tangible benefits to our business, planning workload and ensuring we meet the needs of our customers is much easier to do knowing that we have team members available consistently throughout each week. There has also been a noticeable improvement in staff retention, which consequently means we are spending less energy and money on recruiting and training new staff. The benefits of committing to providing the Living Wage and Living Hours have proven to be positive for both the business and employees alike and I would certainly recommend that other businesses make these commitments.”

Barney, a Technician at Zixtel, said:I’m glad Zixtel offers Living Hours as it makes planning for the future a lot easier. I know exactly how much money I am going to make so I can easily budget for the month. Guaranteed working hours means I can make plans knowing when I will and won’t be working. On a zero hours contract I would have to choose between cancelling plans to work or putting myself under financial stress.

“I’ve just bought a car which would have been harder without guaranteed hours as more money would have to be saved up in case it needs repair, and I don’t get work. Guaranteed hours make me more effective at work as I’m not stressed about money. Planning which jobs get done when is also easier as I know how much time I will be working before a deadline.”

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