I am delighted to have been able to announce that Capita will pay all UK employees the Real Living Wage as a minimum.
Since I became Capita CEO close to two years ago, that is a commitment I have wanted to be able to make but until now have not been able to.
The decision, which will come into effect from April next year, has been made possible by commercial performance. It means nearly 6,000 Capita employees – on both permanent and fixed-term contracts – will receive a pay rise.
Capita is serious about being a purpose-led, responsible business.
Now in the second year of our multi-year transformation, we strive to be a company that is mindful of its impact on the full spectrum of stakeholders upon which we rely to be successful.
Those stakeholders include employees, investors, clients, suppliers and the communities in which we operate.
Paying the Real Living Wage ensures colleagues who are the lifeblood of the business, and who undertake the work without which Capita’s achievements would not be possible, are treated fairly and with respect.
The decision, of course, also makes commercial sense: in my experience, an engaged workforce is a committed workforce, far better able to deliver the vital services that Capita every day provides to millions of people.
Capita has taken its lead from the Living Wage Foundation in developing its Real Living Wage policy, and we are now working towards full accreditation by extending the policy to regular sub-contracted staff.
Pledging to pay the Real Living Wage is the latest in a series of measures announced in the last 12 months which underline Capita’s commitment to purpose-led, responsible business.
We still have much more to do, but I am immensely proud to lead the only FTSE-listed business that has appointed two employees to its board of directors, meaning views from within Capita’s wider workforce now inform strategic decision-making.
Likewise, I am proud of the work we have undertaken to address our pension deficit and to publish our supplier charter, a document that ensures the day-to-day interactions we have with often small or medium-sized businesses conform to the highest standards of global best practice, including prompt payment.
The decision to pay the Real Living Wage I believe symbolises Capita’s commitment, as it transforms, to always deliver more than the minimum required, and to creating better outcomes and surpassing expectations.
Over the coming months and years, I very much want Capita to play a leading role in rebuilding trust between companies and societies that in recent years have become mistrustful of business.
Committing to paying the Real Living Wage, I hope, is a step in the right direction towards achieving that goal.
Jon Lewis is Chief Executive Officer of Capita plc