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Smiths City invited to become a Living Wage Employer

Living Wage media release
24 July 2018

Living Wage Movement invites Smiths City to become an accredited Living Wage Employer

Workers at retail chain Smiths City will be celebrating today as the company has committed to pay a Living Wage to their 591 workers by October this year.

The Living Wage Movement Aotearoa New Zealand would like to congratulate them on their decision and invite them to become an accredited Living Wage Employer.

“Smiths City are yet another company demonstrating that paying good wages makes good business sense,” says National Living Wage Convenor Annie Newman.

“Big retail and low wages don’t have to go hand-in-hand. Many profitable retailers in Aotearoa could give their staff pay rises that would significantly improve their lives without significantly affecting the bottom line.

“It’s interesting that it has been reported that the move won't have a material impact on Smiths City's earnings – many large employers will be in a similar position.”

Annie says that while this decision is welcome, the next step for Smiths City is to become an accredited Living Wage Employer.

“We’d like to invite them to become an official Living Wage Employer, joining 100 employers across the country, big and small, that are part of the network leading the way on fair wages.

“We work with accredited Living Wage Employers to make sure that the Living Wage is delivered to everyone, not just directly employed workers. That means that workers often employed by contractors, such as cleaners and security, get the Living Wage as well.”

According to reports, Smiths City have not committed at this stage to future increases that keep up with the official Living Wage calculation. Annie says that’s not a barrier to accreditation.

“Becoming a Living Wage Employer doesn’t mean committing to all Living Wage increases in the future as accreditation is renewed annually. We understand the various pressures on businesses and make sure we support accredited Living Wage Employers to be able to pay decent wages.

“We’re looking forward to finding out more about Smiths City’s Living Wage commitment and hopefully helping Smiths City to continue as a leader in addressing low wages across the retail industry.”


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