Corps Security Is A Living Wage Recognised Service Provider

Why the Living Wage is more important than ever for the security sector

Last year, Corps Security joined the Living Wage Foundation’s Service Provider Recognition Scheme as part of our drive to improve the pay and living standards of all our people including front line security officers.

This is part of our pledge to raise the standards of pay within the security industry. We now pay all our own office staff the Living Wage and always offer a Living Wage bid alongside every market rate bid submitted to customers. This means organisations have the choice to implement the Living Wage at the point of tender and there is a pathway towards the Living Wage for the provider in place. More than 140 other organisations have made the same commitment to champion the Living Wage at every opportunity.

What Is The Living Wage And Why Does It Matter For The Security Sector?

The real Living Wage is the only UK wage rate that is voluntarily paid by over 7,000 UK businesses who believe their staff deserve a wage which meets everyday needs – like the weekly shop, or a surprise trip to the dentist. The calculation is based on a basket of household goods and services.

Over 250,000 employees across the UK have received a pay rise thanks to the Living Wage campaign. Corps Security is in good company. A broad range of employers pay the Living Wage including two-fifths of the FTSE 100 and big household names including Nationwide, Google, Brewdog, Everton FC and Chelsea FC.

The rates are announced in November each year and employers have until thew following May to implement them. The current real Living Wage rate for 2020/21 is £9.50 (UK) and £10.85 (London).

Security is a low-paid industry and it matters that our people are paid a wage that allows them to look after themselves and their families.

Corps Security is a Living Wage Recognised Service Provider

What Are The Business Benefits Of Paying The Living Wage?

According to the Living Wage Foundation, 93% of businesses have benefited since becoming accredited. And it’s certainly been something which has benefited us as an organisation and, most importantly, our people.

Paying the Living Wage has enhanced our reputation, increased staff motivation and retention rates, improved the relationship between managers and their teams and helps to differentiate us from our competitors. In the fiercely-competitive security industry, that’s good news. Often by paying less in wages to security officers, it costs more in the long-term as staff turnover is higher and this comes with increased administrative and training expenses combined with a reduction in service levels.

It’s also the right thing to do for our people. Our security officers have been on the Covid front-line, keeping people safe and buildings secure while the rest of us worked safely from home. Early in the pandemic, they were categorised as key workers which reflects how important their roles are. And, according to data from The Office for National Statistics, published in spring 2020 security officers have one of the highest death rates from Covid-19. Research we commissioned from Perpetuity Research and Consultancy International showed that a toxic combination of age, sex, location, ethnicity and type of responsibilities was to blame. Low-paid occupations were also found to have the highest rates of death involving Covid-19 and front-line security is typically low-paid. We believe that having served UK Plc so ably during the pandemic, security officers deserve a Living Wage and we do everything we can to encourage customers to pay the Living Wage.

Working With Our Security Customers To Pay The Living Wage

Paying the Living Wage has to be a collaborative approach between Corps Security and our customers – both the larger FM service providers and organisations across every sector. Every organisation has different requirements and commercial constraints, so it won’t always be able to be implemented immediately, but it is important we have a plan in place to work towards paying a higher wage.

As an FM service provider, it is our job at Corps to educate our customers about the benefits of paying a Living Wage. Cost is the only point considered. Service providers need to illustrate clear advantages for a customer’s business.

Organisations generally want to do the right thing and support better pay for their critical FM workforce, but some do assume they can’t afford it. However, with careful planning, service contracts can be reviewed to help to pay everyone a Living Wage.

Living Wage Foundation’s Leadership Group – Corps Security

Corps Security’s takes paying the Living Wage to its staff so seriously that our CEO Mike Bullock is a member of the Living Wage Foundation’s Recognised Service Provider Leadership Group. He represents the security profession.

The group was set up to influence the facilities management sector, including the security world, around the Living Wage Recognition Programme for service providers, advise on overall strategy relating to the Living Wage and service provider recognition and its promotion in the facilities management and outsourcing sectors. Mike Bullock, who represents the security sector at the group, the leadership group includes people from the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management (IWFM) the Cleaning and Support Services Association (CSSA), Sodexo, ISS, Facilicom and Carlisle Support Services. Up to 20 people can be members of the group and they serve for a three-year term. The group meets quarterly.

“As an organisation which was set up more than 160 years ago to provide employment for service men returning from the Crimean War, we are committed to always providing the highest standard of pay and support to our people. Joining the Leadership Group and representing the security profession is a key part of that journey,” says Mike.