Real Living Wage win delivers 6.7% in 14forty

Telecoms & Financial Services


Catering, cleaning, security post room and front of house staff employed by 14forty at Capita sites across the country are in line for a 6.7% pay rise just after Christmas.

Providing good cause for some much needed New Years Cheer, the move – which will benefit scores working for the facilities services provider at the CWU-represented Capita sites in Leeds, Preston Brook and Glasgow – follows persistent lobbying of the company by the union in recent times.

That concerned pressure, which began with the lodging of the union’s 2020 pay claim in 14forty in January last year, intensified following the subsequent introduction of the Real Living Wage (RLW) across Capita and was forcefully reiterated as one of the union’s key priorities for 14forty members in the very first meeting with management conducted by recently elected CWU national officer for 14forty, Tracey Fussey.

Up until now, pay rises at 14forty have been pegged to Government-announced increases in the National Living Wage (the confusingly rebranded national Minimum Wage) – meaning that the change of tack confirmed by management yesterday (Wednesday) represents a real breakthrough for one for the lowest paid group of workers working anywhere in the Capita organisation.

Tracey, who took up post just this summer, said: “We very much welcome this voluntary move, which will see our members in 14forty receive a 6.7% increase in pay from January 1, 2022. The good news doesn’t end there, however, because just three months later – on April 1, 2022 – they will receive a further increase, moving to the new RLW rate that will be announced in just a month’s time, on November 15).

“What we are therefore looking at is a significant and much needed pay rise for our 14forty members that will subsequently be subject to an annual ongoing review on April 1 every year to keep it in line with the RLW, as set by the Living Wage Foundation.”

That RLW rate currently sits at £9.50 per hour outside London, and £10.85 in the capital, compared to the Government’s ‘National Living Wage’ rage of £8.91 for those aged 23 and over, £8.36 for those aged 21 to 22 and just £6.56 for those aged 18 to 20.

14forty has already confirmed that pay differentials for those already paid above the minimum wage will be maintained when the increase to the RLW is applied.

Tracey Fussey

Increasingly widely honoured by larger employers and across the public sector, the RLW rate is based on calculations of the minimum earnings required for a standard of life that goes beyond mere survival.

Tracey concludes: “14forty deserves huge credit for moving voluntarily from being a minimum wage to a Real Living Wage employer – notwithstanding the fact that outcome was probably a long-term inevitability following Capita adopting the RLW itself.

“From my first meeting with management – in which I strongly reiterated the moral importance of this point – I’ve been struck by the company’s desire to do the right thing, notwithstanding the tough contractual constraints it is under.

“Management clearly took on our feedback, confirming they were already in discussions on this very point – and yesterday’s (October 13) announcement is the massively welcome outcome.”