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Living Wage Case Study – Ruddocks Print & Design

Posted on 20th July, 2016 by Lincoln Against Poverty

Established in 1880, Ruddocks Print & Design is a well-known Lincoln company, providing creative and print services both locally and nationally. They signed up to pay the Living Wage in 2015, resulting in two of their 43 staff receiving a pay rise.

Managing Director Paul Banton is also President of the Lincoln Area Chamber of Commerce, which is where he heard about the Living Wage during a presentation by City of Lincoln Council Leader Ric Metcalfe asking businesses for their support.

Speaking about the decision to adopt the Living Wage Paul said: “I felt it was the right thing to do. The reality is when someone is on a weekly wage, an extra £1.05 an hour doesn’t make a huge difference to us as the employer, but it makes a big difference to the employee and it bring benefits to the company in the longer term.

“In terms of recruitment, it helps to pay a reasonably good wage, particularly if people are already working. If you’re negotiating to employ somebody you’re not starting off in the best place for either of you.

“It helps with retention for the same reason. You wouldn’t get loyalty if you paid people really poorly. From our point of view people feel as though they’re treated fairly. If they don’t have enough to live on people will look elsewhere. It’s about feeling valued.

“It’s really important you’re decent with people in terms of pay, as well as offering a pension scheme and good working conditions. If you’re good with people you get that back tenfold. People come to work for us and they stay. Every year we have people celebrating long service.

“My advice to other businesses is that you should pay the Living Wage if you can afford it. There are businesses that are really struggling but I would argue that if you’re employing staff, your staffing ought to be set at the right level to pay people correctly.

“Paying your staff fairly is part of treating them fairly. They can take their wages home and not worry too much about the cost of living. It means as an employer you have staff that shouldn’t be struggling because you are not paying them enough. You’re doing your bit. It helps with retention and recruitment and both those things are expensive. Good pay helps to retain good staff who aren’t looking to go elsewhere.

“I don’t believe pay is the main criteria for staff happiness but I do believe poor pay is a big driving factor in staff leaving. People will stay in a good place if they can afford to live and that’s what the Living Wage is doing.

“If more businesses sign up to pay the Living Wage that would be good for Lincoln. It’s about stability, and I think stability is really important for growth. If you’ve got businesses that are

constantly recruiting you don’t have any loyalty. It’s really difficult for a business to adjust and manage that. And of course there is the cost of recruitment. A little bit more in wages is probably balanced by the savings made in not having to constantly recruit.

“If you’ve got a stable business that can only help Lincoln’s economy grow and be successful. I think we’ve got our own challenges within Lincoln, particularly around retention of graduates. If we pay decent wages it will help to keep that talent we’re nurturing here in the city.

“There are reputational benefits as well. Someone told me Ruddocks has got a really good name in this city for treating people right. If we weren’t paying people well it would be detrimental to that reputation we’ve worked so hard to build.

“That reputation as an employer, as a supplier, as a customer, and as a community business that gets involved in charitable stuff, really, really matters.”