BAM Facilities Management, part of BAM Construct UK, has been accredited as a Living Wage Foundation recognised service provider
The recognition means BAM is paying its own employees a higher rate. By law, all companies must pay at least the national minimum wage.
The living wage involves voluntarily paying a higher rate. More than 7,000 UK employers already choose to pay it.
While BAM is committed to paying all directly employed colleagues in line with Living Wage Foundation rates, it must work with its clients to encourage them to pay it too.
Many of BAM’s property development and construction clients are already active supporters of the Living Wage Foundation, including universities, local authorities, NHS bodies, and land development companies.
The Living Wage is set independently by the Living Wage Foundation and is higher than the government’s national minimum wage. It is calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK, based on a basket of goods and services. Living costs vary in different parts of the country so there is a different living wage rate for London, compared to the rest of the UK.
The current Living Wage in the UK is £9.50 per hour and £10.85 per hour in London. The national Minimum Wage is £8.72 per hour for people aged 25 and above which has already increased to £8.91 from April 2021. There are different rates for those under 25 years old.
‘We want to increase wages for lower-paid colleagues’
Louise Williamson, BAM Facilities Management’s managing director, said: “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.”