National Grid’s decision to accredit as a Living Wage employer brings the total number of FTSE 100 companies that have announced or applied for accreditation with the Living Wage Foundation to 24. National Grid employs 12,000 people in the UK, and so this makes it one of the largest employers yet to sign up to the Living Wage.
ShareAction, as a responsible investment charity, has been mobilising institutional investors in an Investor Collaborative for the Living Wage, which includes asset managers, pension funds, faith and charitable investors, to encourage the FTSE 100 to adopt the UK Living Wage standard since 2011 based upon the understanding of its long-term benefits to businesses. These major institutional investors have been entering into dialogue with the FTSE 100 to express support for the UK Living Wage through joint letter writing, AGM questions, and direct meetings with the companies.
Alongside the institutional investor engagements through this collaborative programme, ShareAction’s empowerment of individual shareholders to raise questions through the ‘AGM Army’ made sure that dialogue on the Living Wage progressed at a top level across the FTSE 100.
Catherine Howarth, Chief Executive at ShareAction, says that: “We’re delighted to see National Grid adopt the UK Living Wage. It goes to show the impact institutional investor engagement has through demonstrating shareholder support for this marker of responsible business practice. We are certain that investors interested in promoting best practice in human capital management will see this move very positively. We hope that National Grid’s decision will encourage other leading companies in Britain to take the step to sign up to the Living Wage standard. With National Grid as the 24th company in the FTSE 100 to become a Living Wage employer, we eagerly await the announcement of the 25th.”