AstraZeneca, a member of our Engaging Stakeholders network, commissioned SustainAbility to conduct an independent piece of research in order to better understand the issue of the Living Wage in the UK.
Although definitions of a Living Wage vary, it is generally accepted to mean the wage that can meet a person’s basic needs to maintain a safe, decent standard of living within the community.
The need for workers to earn a Living Wage is recognised by both the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the International Labour Organization constitution.
Understanding the Living Wage
Our first step was to help contextualise the issue by providing AstraZeneca with an assessment of the broader societal landscape and stakeholder views of the Living Wage.
We then investigated how companies, including other pharmaceutical companies, approached the implementation of the Living Wage within their operations and supply chains.
Our final recommendations included the need for a program of engagement with suppliers to help deepen understanding of their stance on the Living Wage. We also highlighted the opportunity to learn from the direct experience of other Living Wage employers in the UK through the sharing of best practice.
Putting into action our recommended next steps, AstraZeneca is now undertaking an in-depth assessment of the pros and cons of implementing the Living Wage in the UK.