Living Wage Week 2021

In 2021, Dataplan is proud to have been accredited as a Living Wage employer. In our announcement we discussed what the Real Living Wage is, why it is different to National Living or Minimum Wage, and what it takes to become an accredited employer.

This week, the 15th to the 19th of November, is Living Wage Week and we decided it was time to reflect on the impact that becoming accredited has had to us as an employer, and to our employees.

What made us seek out the Living Wage employer status?

Becoming an accredited Living Wage employer became high on the agenda, initially as part of our strategy for recruitment. Being based in the Grimsby area we have already snapped up many of the local experienced payroll professionals, which has led to us switching our strategy to attract career switchers.

Our Director of People and Quality, Elaine Gibson, explained “although they are starting a new career from scratch, they are actually bringing some fantastic transferable skills, so having the accreditation and meeting the Real Living Wage rates allows us to benchmark a fair starting wage.”

At Dataplan we want to provide our people with the opportunity for a fantastic career, so the hope is that by making a career switch more feasible and attractive that these people will be able to progress quickly due to their existing skills. We are committed to making Dataplan a fantastic place to work, so ensuring that our entry level roles have a benchmark for a fair wage was an important motivator to us.

The benefit to our organisation

By committing to the Real Living Wage and maintaining that standard, we have seen many benefits to our organisation. It allows us to be fair and equal to new starters joining our organisation, offering them a fair wage for a day’s work, and treating them with consistency.

It has allowed us to attract and retain talent, by showing potential recruits that we are committed to our people. Elaine added “I know from a number of our career switchers that they have been quite surprised when they realised what the salary levels would be on the Real Living Wage, and it helped them to make the decision to come and join us.”

In addition, the accreditation sends out a positive message to our clients, partners and suppliers. By becoming an accredited employer it shows other organisations that they can be comfortable engaging with us, knowing that we are committed to our values and our people.

The benefit to our people

Whilst there are many benefits to us as a business, the key focus of the Real Living Wage is the benefit to our people and provides one rate for all The current statutory rates set by the Government, the National Living Wage, presents a number of issues. Firstly, it is benchmarked for those aged 23 and over which does not account for the financial responsibilities that some people have before this age. Particularly in the Grimsby area we have noticed that a number of young people branch out on their own and find their own way in life, which is why we appreciate that the Real Living Wage applies to all employees over 18.

Elaine added “the Real Living Wage is a significantly higher benchmark that National Living Wage or National Minimum Wage, and it acts as a catch-all for those aged 18 and above.”

Maintaining our accreditation

The new Living Wage rates were announced today, Monday the 15th of November, and to maintain our accreditation we must apply these rates to our workforce within 6 months. The Real Living Wage has risen to £11.05 per hour in London and £9.90 for the rest of the UK. It is our commitment to maintain our status as a Living Wage employer to continue the benefit to our organisation and our people, and so salaries will be reviewed and revised where necessary.

In addition, the wider IRIS Software Group, who Dataplan is proud to have recently joined, are an accredited Living Wage employer.

A word from our Director of People & Quality, Elaine Gibson

“The Living Wage accreditation really sits with our values as an employer, it satisfies a number of them by allowing us to attract and retain the best people. It is very satisfying to give good people a decent job and a future career. That’s what we do at Dataplan, it’s not just a job; we say it’s a career and the sky is the limit when you look at how some of our people have progressed internally.”

Written by Rachel Cooke
Published on November 15, 2021

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