Louise Williamson, BAM FM’s Managing Director, explains how BAM is approaching this:
“We want to increase wages for lower paid colleagues. On the face of it, people might think we could just decide to meet that increased cost ourselves. However, we face two challenges which we are determined to overcome.
“The first challenge is that most of the time we can’t control the pay scales in our contracts. When we take on a new contract, we must maintain employees’ terms and conditions. That means we need to ask our clients to agree to spend more so we can then pass that on to employees by paying them the living wage. We have started those conversations with clients and hope for positive responses.
“The second challenge is that when we bid for new work, paying the living wage without the support of our clients and supply chain could make us uncompetitive. The wage bill is the biggest element of any service. If we proposed prices that include the higher living wage, but our competitors were able to choose to pay lower rates, then they would easily undercut us, win all the work and then no one would get better wages.