“A living wage for all…!!” 1st April 1999 was a bad day for our country
It was the day when the Labour Government decided enough was enough and that legislation would be required to kick in and force our business leaders to pay a miserly minimum wage. So why do I suggest it was a BAD day? Well, sadly if our business leaders choose to get rich and pay the workers peanuts it’s their “right” I suppose, but is it morally “right”? The question I would ask is “Have our political leaders failed UK workers?”
In my view our political leaders have badly let down the workers of the UK – by installing another law forcing business owners to pay a minimum wage they give out mixed messages.
Mixed messages come from the fact that all businesses must be competitive on price, service, quality etc and if they aren’t then they are unlikely to remain in business – but how can say, a global banking giant based in the UK lose Billions of pounds, get bailed out by the taxpayer, reward their senior management team with billions in bonus’s and yet pay their front line staff the basic minimum (I know people who work in banks who complain about low pay, high expectation, bad management and leadership and constantly changing expectation) The fact that our political leaders don’t mention the appalling message this gives actually supports the practice – other mixed messages come from the fact that many of the workers who work in public office are on the basic minimum wage and yet Politicians of ALL parties are guilty of excessive expense claims under the cloak of “well we are entitled..” or even better “We are within the rules..” Sadly, despite sweeping cuts in almost every facet of our lives – they have voted to awad themselves a 32% payrise. Hardly inspiring…
When will we adopt a culture of worth? A UK culture of value, a place whereby we value life, we value people and co-create a climate of mutual respect? Whilst a well known global thought leader suggested that we “be the change we want to see in this world” the reality is that for many “leading by example” is something they read about and NOT see being delivered by the political elite.
What can you do about this? First of all encourage all to adopt a culture within business of mutual respect – of valuing people and rewarding them appropriately – because they are more likely to do the same by way of their commitment, energy and results.
Needing laws to MAKE business owners pay their staff enough to barely live on sums up a culture of greed and that is what’s at the heart of the “minimum wage” law in my view…