A living wage is the hourly wage a worker needs to cover basic expenses and participate in the community.
Employers in Peel can help reduce poverty by paying wages that meet employees' needs.
The living wage rate:
- Is not the same as the minimum wage, which is the legal minimum all employers must pay.
- Considers the cost of rent, food, transportation, and related government taxes and transfers for households.
- Is recalculated annually to ensure it accurately reflects changes in cost of living.
A living wage is beneficial to every member of your organization, both individually and as a team.
Recruitment and retention
- Employees who earn a living wage experience better mental and physical health and economic well-being.
- Employers paying a living wage experience a decrease in employee turnover, absenteeism, increased retention and productivity, and savings on hiring and retraining.
- Employers can use a living wage as a tool within their recruitment strategy for lower-paying occupations.
Strengthening and exemplifying corporate values
- Living wage employers receive public recognition for demonstrating a commitment to socially responsible practices, making them more attractive to potential employees, customers, and shareholders.
- Paying a living wage, promoting fair wages, and aligning with the Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) ethical movement is an act of Corporate Social Responsibility.
It's important for organizations in Peel to pay a living wage because:
- Poverty affects productivity and employment stability.
7.8% of Peel's population live in poverty. This includes 9.7% of children aged 0 to 17.
People who live in poverty have higher rates of chronic illness and reduced levels of emotional and mental development, which can affect productivity and employment stability.
- Employee turnover costs employers.
Employee turnover and sick leave cost organizations 30% or more of their annual salary to replace.
Paying a living wage is linked to a decrease in employee turnover and absenteeism, which can save hiring and retraining costs.
- Nearly half of people who work in Peel work part time.
48% of those employed in Peel work part-time or part of the year.
For years, the minimum wage has been too low to lift even someone working full-time, year-round, above the poverty line. It's even worse for part-time workers.
- Just over half of Peel's immigrant population is working in poverty.
Working poverty is when a family - with at least one working person — has a household income that keeps them below an officially recognized poverty line. It can be fixed with effective policy and practice changes, such as adopting a living wage policy.
Working poverty is more concentrated in immigrants and visible minorities. 51% of Peel's population are immigrants.
The Living Wage Employer Program celebrates employers that pay their direct and indirect employees a living wage.
Living wage employers are accountable employers who care about their employees and the community.
Most of all, they know that paying a living wage means investing in the long-term prosperity of the local economy by developing a loyal, skilled, and healthy workforce.
Becoming a living wage employer happens in 5 stages.
Stage 1: Expression of interest
Stage 2: Application review and license agreement
Prepare and submit a draft implementation plan. You'll sign the licence agreement and pay the employer certification fee once your application is approved.
Stage 3: Certificate presentation
You'll be connected with the Peel Poverty Reduction Committee to arrange the presentation of your Living Wage Employer Certificate.
Stage 4: Recognition
Your organization will be publicly recognized through social media, events, and publications. It will also be listed in OLWN's employer directory and map and on this website.
Be sure to enjoy the benefits of being a Certified Living Wage Employer and share how well it’s working for your organization.
Stage 5: Periodic review
Each year on the anniversary of your certification, you'll be sent a renewal survey and invoice for the annual employer certification fee. When the living wage calculation is updated, you’ll be contacted and informed of the new rate.
For more information on living wage and how to become a living wage employer in Peel, visit the Ontario Living Wage Network.