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Living Wage and Awesome Merchandise


In April this year Awesome Merchandise became a Living Wage Accredited company and with Living Wage Week this week, we thought we’d tell you a little more about it, as well as give you a special discount which can be used throughout Living Wage Week.

The Living Wage is an hourly rate set independently and updated annually, calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK. Employers choose to pay Living Wage on a voluntary basis and so far there are just over 900 Living Wage Accredited companies across many different industries and sectors. Currently set at £7.65 across the UK and £8.80 for London, the new Living Wage will be announced during Living Wage week, which is the first week of November.

As the Living Wage Foundation explains “paying the Living Wage is good for business, good for the individual and good for society.” Our main reason for using the Living Wage as our starting point for salaries is that quite simply, our staff are Awesome! Every single order which goes out to our customers is made by our hard working team and it is their hard work which makes Awesome Merchandise … Awesome. As our Director Charlotte explains, ‘our staff are our greatest resource and most valuable asset, and so joining the Living Wage Foundation was a natural next step in our employment journey.’ Making sure our staff can afford rent, bills, food and even have a bit left over for a couple of beers on a Friday night is a bit of a no brainer really!

Many of you will be aware that at the beginning of the year we moved to a new factory, (if you haven’t seen them, check out some of the videos from the move here) and while part of the reason for the move was to give us space for new machines to produce your Awesome orders, top of the agenda was making sure we had a better environment for staff. With advancements in technology and machinery being a big part of the print industry, it often seems as though the people running the machines are forgotten about. However, from the Customer Service Team answering your queries, to the Production Team producing and quality checking your order, to the Dispatch Team who make sure it gets to you on time, it becomes clear that people can never fully be replaced by machines. It is for this reason, that, as Charlotte explained, our staff are our most valuable asset! The new factory allowed us to add in some pretty cool break­out areas, including picnic benches and deckchairs, perfect for a well deserved lunch break! We also make sure there are plenty of staff parties, advocating the philosophy of ‘work hard/play hard!’ The Living Wage then, was another way to make sure our staff were happy outside as well as inside work and staff morale has never been better!

So, with Living Wage Week coming up we are getting involved with the celebrations! Having been shortlisted for Living Wage Champion for Yorkshire and the Humber, we’re keeping our fingers crossed to find out if we’ve been chosen as Winners! We’ll be finding out during Living Wage Week.

If you want any further information about how to become a Living Wage Accredited company, or how to become a supporter of Living Wage, please visit the Living Wage Foundation website.

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