Everton Football Club has been heralded as a "shining example" for other sports organisations and football clubs to follow when it comes to paying all employees a living wage.
In October 2016 Everton became the second Premier League club to sign up to the Living Wage Foundation to pay a wage which meets the real cost of living.
Over 6 million people in the UK are paid below a real ‘living wage’ with those who work in sports clubs and facilities – football, rugby, tennis and cricket – disproportionately affected by low pay.
As one of the leaders of fair pay for employees, Everton were recently invited by Citizens UK, the organisation responsible for the Living Wage Foundation, to speak at an event in Parliament about the importance of rewarding all employees fairly in terms of pay.
Matthew Bolton, Executive Director at Citizens UK, said: “Everton has made a huge contribution to their community by going beyond the Government minimum and ensuring workers can support their families with wages that meet the real cost of living.
“With tens of thousands of workers, including cleaners, caterers and security guards paid below this rate at big football stadiums, we’re calling on other clubs to follow the shining example of Everton Football Club.”
Findings released on Monday (4th February) by Citizens UK reveal that Everton is one of four Premier League Clubs that are accredited Living Wage employers. The others are West Ham, Chelsea and Liverpool.
The study also found that 42% of all employees working at sports clubs and facilities are paid below the real Living Wage. This compares with 20% or one in five workers being paid under a real living wage nationally.
Citizens UK are using the study to promote the importance of tackling low pay in sport and how football clubs and other sporting organisations can support local communities to flourish.
Kim Healey, People Director at Everton, said: “We take immense pride in being ‘The People’s Club’. Not only do we put our loyal supporters first, but we also place huge importance on staff welfare. Paying all employees the Living Wage was a step in the right direction.
“We are proud of our Living Wage accreditation at Everton Football Club, while we also look to promote the importance of paying the living wage not only in sport but in all other businesses. We have found it improves our employees’ quality of life and also benefits our society.”
The living wage is set independently by the Living Wage Foundation and is calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK. Employers choose to pay it on a voluntary basis.
The Foundation encourages all employers that can afford to do so to ensure their employees earn a wage that meets the costs of living, not just the government minimum.
For more information on the Living Wage please visit https://www.livingwage.org.uk/what-real-living-wage
Image: Getty Images/Everton FC