Higgs accredited as living wage employer

Midlands-based law firm Higgs has received accreditation from the Living Wage Foundation.

Employees at the firm will receive a minimum hourly wage of £10.90, exceeding the government’s minimum wage rate of £9.50 for those aged above 23, which is due to increase to £10.42 as of next month.

The hourly figure set by the foundation was independently calculated based on the real life costs of everyday needs. Around 12,000 businesses across the UK, including Barclays, Burberry and KPMG, have voluntarily committed to paying the real living wage rate to their workforce.

Sophie Wardell, HR director at Higgs, said: “The well-documented rising cost of living has placed huge financial pressures on households across the UK and the Living Wage Foundation has done fantastic work highlighting the issues many individuals are facing. Around one in five workers in the West Midlands are earning less than the real living wage and these are unprecedented times of financial difficulty.

“We are fully committed to looking after our people. Taking the decision to adopt the real living wage will have a significant impact on our employees who will benefit and forms part of a wider package of measures we have introduced over the last 12 months.”

Helena Flavell, HR business partner at Higgs, added: “We’ve always placed a very strong emphasis on creating the right workplace culture for everyone, regardless of their role or the work they carry out. We want to invest in our people and help them grow and develop and this initiative is another example of our commitment to achieving that.”

All employees at Higgs received a one-off £500 payment to help them through the cost-of-living crisis. The firm also introduced the Higgs Hardship Fund to provide financial support to staff on a case-by-case basis, and has set up access to financial education workshops through a partnership with Better With Money to deliver money-saving advice.