What is the Living Wage & how do you measure it?

What is the Living Wage & how do you measure it?

Spot prioritizes fairness. But when money is involved, being fair can be a complicated topic. At Spot, we protect workers by:

  • Rewarding employers who have inclusive hiring practices
  • Paying Spot workers within 48 hours of completing a gig
  • Insurance in case of damage or accident
  • Not charging hidden fees. 

In conversations about money and fairness, key phrases include the ‘minimum wage’ and the ‘living wage’

The minimum wage is the lowest hourly rate that an employer can legally pay their staff. Studies have shown that raising the minimum wage reduces wage inequality.

Paying the minimum wage might seem like a good idea, but doesn’t account for the local cost of living or inflation. The living wage offers a valuable solution to this problem, because it’s based on the average cost of living in a specific town or city. 

If your local cost of living is low, your wage will be lower than someone with a high cost of living. Workers who are based in cities such as Toronto and Vancouver would receive a higher wage than someone who lives and works in rural Ontario or British Columbia.

What tools can you use?

When calculating your local cost of living, key factors include the local:

  • Housing costs
  • Food costs
  • Medical expenses
  • Cell phones
  • And other essential expenses.

When in doubt, use MIT’s wage calculator because it factors in the cost of living in your country and metro area.

You might also want to check out the Living Wage for Families’ calculator, which factors in expenses that matter to working families such as supporting children and health benefits. 

Another resource worth exploring is Numbeo, an online cost of living database. You can search for any city and learn everything from:

  • The average weekly grocery costs 
  • To the average monthly rent and mortgage costs.

What are the benefits of the living wage?

The living wage benefits employers and employees, because they have a better quality of life and improved health.

Due to better workplace conditions, turnover rates and recruitment costs are low. Workers are a lot less stressed, and a lot more satisfied, building loyal to the company they work for. When workers get a wage that reflects their local cost of living, consumer buying power increases. When consumer buying power increases, the local economy grows.

According to a 2005 study cleaners who worked for The Royal London Hospital struggled with providing adequate food for their families. Before the living wage was introduced, 50% of these workers could provide enough food for their families. After it was introduced, that number rose to 85%.

What programs are available?

An employer certification program is available for Canadian businesses, and the following conditions apply:

  • All staff will get a wage that reflects the local cost of living
  • Contracts must state the following: “all contracted service workers get a wage that reflects their local cost of living.”
  • Benefits and employee commissions are an important factor in the assessment process
  • When the cost of living changes, certifications get reviewed

In participating provinces, you’ll get recognition and publicity. It’s a win-win situation for your entire workplace.

The application process starts with an online application and paying a certification fee. After you receive a certificate, you’ll receive a periodic review of your employee wages.

Spot makes hiring people full or part-time hassle-free

At Spot, we connect employers with a pool of pre-vetted workers. Our approach is both easy and hands-off. We can help you find qualified workers who are the right fit for your organisation. If you want to introduce inclusive hiring practices, we can help. A wage that reflects your local cost of living is a step in the right direction.

Spot Team

SPOT App has revolutionized the hiring process giving employers easy access to SPOT’s new socio-Gig Economy, giving full control over managing a flexible workforce. Combined with our proprietary Learning Management System, SPOT is the mechanism for workers to "Learn while you Earn".

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