MidKent College – Fair Pay Fortnight

MidKent College – Fair Pay Fortnight

MidKent College – Fair Pay Fortnight

Last Thursday I went to the ‘apprentice restaurant’ at MidKent College Maidstone campus and spoke about the importance of the living wage as part of the Trade Union Congress’s Fair Pay Fortnight campaign. From 16 February to 1 March 2015 the TUC is running Fair Pay Fortnight, a series of events across the country that will raise awareness about Britain’s cost of living crisis.


Fair Pay Fortnight Maidstone

Elliot Dean speaks at Mid Kent College Maidstone about Fair Pay Fortnight



Its extremely important that people of all ages understand the benefits of employers paying the living wage. The Living Wage is independently calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK and is currently set at £7.85 per hour outside of London and £9.15 per hour inside of London. Anyone who is receiving less than the living wage is being subsidised by family, savings or having to claim in work benefits. Some people are even being forced to live bellow the basic living standards where they have no source of subsides.

Why pay the Living wage?

The minimum wage has failed to keep pace with the rapidly rising costs of living we have seen since 2010 while real wages across the UK have fallen over £4,000. This has left many people having to make the choice between heating and eating while many company’s profits continue to soar year on year. In Maidstone & the Weald 26% of people earn less than the Living Wage, 46% of all part time jobs in the area also pay less than the Living wage, while many public sector jobs have been lost in the town due to central government cuts. Real wages in the South East have fallen by £2,935 since 2010 while the cost of living continues to rise year on year.


MidKent College Maidstone Fair Pay Fortnight

Elliot Dean , Morel D’Souza – ex Mayor of Maidstone, Councillor Malcolm McKay and others support the TUC Fair Pay Fortnight campaign in Maidstone


The living wage is now set at 21% higher than the national minimum wage. For someone working 37 hours a week on the minimum wage this means a pay rise of £2,597 a year if their employer signs up to the scheme. Not only can this money help to raise families above the poverty line and reduce household debt and inequality, but every pound spent in the local community helps the local economy too.

Employers paying the living wage have reported increases in productivity and the well being of their employees. Paying employees a fair wage means they are more likely to stay with their employer for longer, allowing businesses to profit from retaining experienced workers, and to reduce the costs of recruitment.

The living wage campaign has lifted many workers out of low pay while benefiting businesses and raising government revenues in tax receipts alone. Lots of people are due a pay rise – and the living wage is the best place to start.


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