Peartree & BIFM LPC Report
On Wednesday, the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his Autumn Budget speech announced a rise in the national minimum wage rates, applicable from April 2018.
The recommendations to increase the rates were put forward by the Low Pay Commission (LPC), whose report was published by the government shortly after the Budget announcement.
The LPC came to their recommendations based on evidence submitted to them. This included qualitative evidence collected through their engagement with stakeholders throughout the past year. Through their engagement they tried to measure the impact of the national minimum wage rates on businesses while at the same time trying to anticipate the potential impact of future rate increases.
BIFM, and some of its members, engaged with the LPC by feeding into their June consultation and by participating in a local evidence session in August this year. During the August session in Melton Mowbray, the BIFM representatives were Mark Evans, from BIFM Midlands, and Sofie Hooper, Senior Policy Advisor BIFM. BIFM was then invited to participate in an oral evidence session with all the Commissioners in London. BIFM representatives during this session were Stuart Conroy, Peartree Cleaning Services, and Peter Brogan, BIFM’s Senior Research and Insights Manager.
The LPC report does not just acknowledge the positive NLW experiences of BIFM members, it lists them explicitly (including in two FM case studies). The key positives registered were staff morale and retention, BIFM gathered this information through our member survey. Despite these positives, BIFM also highlighted that some members found the rate rises challenging, in part due to other statutory pressures.
In response to the budget announcement of rising statutory minimum wage rates, Linda Hausmanis, BIFM CEO, said:
“BIFM welcomes the announcement on the national living wage. It is only right that people are paid a fair wage for a day’s work and as an Institute we’re promoting this by being an accredited Living Wage employer. At the same time, we must acknowledge that pay increases are a challenge for some of our members who are already having to deal with many other economic and administrative challenges. BIFM will support our members with guidance to enable them to adjust to the new rates where needed and we will provide further support for those who want to go beyond statutory pay.
“We need to continue to make the case for fair wages, and help FM suppliers better demonstrate to their clients the crucial link between higher rates of pay and improved service delivery and performance. Clients all over the country, both private and public, also have to play their part by ensuring that social value is put firmly at the heart of procurement, rather than cost reduction being the only driver.”
BIFM will be holding an FM Leaders Forum on FM employment practices early in the new year. The outputs of the Forum will feed into guidance for members to enable them to adjust to the new statutory rates and to provide support for those that want to go beyond those rates.