The Living Wage and FM

This Month’s Tomorrow’s FM Water Cooler posed the following hot potato of a question….

‘Is the living wage a realistic target for the FM industry or simply a feather in the cap for the larger players?’

Any commitment to a ‘living wage’ is both of the above.


It is a realistic target and also a feather in the cap of FM service providers who want to show their commitment and reward for a job well done. With any luck, the advent of the Living Wage and proliferation of it throughout the industry should help to raise the profile of the industry and the excellent work being done around UK plc by FM employees and their companies.


Personally, I’m against companies undercutting each other to win contracts, because it is difficult to see where the value and innovation can be added on such tight, financially constrained contracts. The Living Wage commitment would be a step in the right direction for the professionalisation of the industry and also enable service providers to base bids on realistic costs rather than cost cutting. FM has for too long been viewed as a cost centre. All we have to do now is join the dots up and create the link to FM becoming a profit centre and one that can stimulate employee engagement.


In due course, as the tide turns from cost to value, the time has never been more right for the living wage to be implemented across the industry. I applaud the early innovators in this respect.