Contingent AI: Tackling In-Work Poverty – Guidance for Employers

Last Updated on: 9th February 2024, 01:43 pm

Contingent AI (Contingent and Future Technologies Ltd) supports businesses of all sizes, providing tailored solutions to help manage risk and meet regulatory demands. Contingent AI is a proud member of the Living Wage Foundation, playing an active role in tackling in-work and post-work poverty and providing a decent standard of living by paying the Living Wage and adopting Living Hours and Living Pensions.

For people all over the world today, work can represent a reliable route out of poverty. Nevertheless, for many, the rising cost of living has left many modern workers struggling to cope.

Poverty affects people in different ways and can sometimes be challenging for employers to pinpoint. Teaming up with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development has created guidelines to raise awareness of in-work poverty, encouraging employers to help loosen poverty’s grip on their employees.

In-work poverty occurs where an employee’s income is less than 60% of the national average, after housing costs, and they do not earn enough to meet the cost of living as calculated using Office of National Statistics data. In-work poverty has been growing since the mid-1990s, affecting people in a variety of different ways.

Factors that drive in-work poverty include poor job quality and employment practices that lead to financial instability, trapping employees in low-paid roles. Other contributing factors include underemployment, financial hardship triggered by unforeseen setbacks in personal circumstances and low income, where pay rises fail to keep pace with cost-of-living increases.

The Living Wage Foundation is an independent organisation launched with the mission of tackling in-work poverty by campaigning for fair working hours and fair pay. Since 2012, the Living Wage Foundation has led the Real Living Wage movement, lobbying employers to pay an independently calculated hourly wage capable of meeting actual living costs. Organisations like Contingent AI that pay the Living Wage are recognised and celebrated through the Living Wage Employer Mark accreditation scheme. An independently calculated rate of pay based on the actual cost of living, the Real Living Wage is distinct from the UK Government’s Minimum and National Living Wage. In October 2023, the Real Living Wage was set at £12 per hour across the UK for workers aged over 18. The Real Living Wage also includes a London weighting adjustment at £13.15 per hour, reflecting the higher cost of living in the capital. Although the Real Living Wage is not mandatory in law, it is paid voluntarily by more than 14,000 businesses across the UK.

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