Making the living wage work in SMEs: evidence from accredited employers in the UK hospitality sector

Werner, Andrea ORCID logoORCID: (2021) Making the living wage work in SMEs: evidence from accredited employers in the UK hospitality sector. In: The Living Wage: Advancing a Global Movement. Dobbins, Tony and Prowse, Peter, eds. Routledge, pp. 79-90. ISBN 9780367514907, pbk-ISBN 9780367514877, e-ISBN 9781003054078. [Book Section] (doi:10.4324/9781003054078-8)

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This chapter provides evidence on how small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) make the implementation of the real Living Wage (RLW) work in their organizations. The focus is on case studies of SMEs accredited by the Living Wage Foundation (LWF) from the hospitality sector, a sector notorious for low wages and poor working conditions. Analysis of the case studies draws out the range of SMEs’ motivations for signing up to the RLW, encompassing moral, strategic, and political reasons. It sets out the multitude of benefits of LWF-accreditation for these SMEs, challenges regarding the implementation of the RLW, as well as some industry-related issues. The chapter closes with some reflections about the implications of RLW adoption in SMEs for individuals, businesses, and the economy; and about the prospects and conditions for future growth of LWF- accreditations among SMEs, in particular in low-wage sectors.

Item Type: Book Section
Research Areas: A. > Business School
Item ID: 35005
Notes on copyright: This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge/CRC Press in The Living Wage: Advancing a Global Movement on September 30, 2021, available online:
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Depositing User: Andrea Werner
Date Deposited: 26 Apr 2022 09:42
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 17:43

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