What is a living wage?

Date: 01/04/2015

whatislwIn the FWF Code of Labour Practices, a living wage is defined as a wage paid for a standard working week that meets the basic needs of workers and their families and provides some discretionary income. ‘Basic needs’ further includes costs like housing (with basic facilities including electricity), nutrition, clothing, healthcare, education, drinking water, childcare, transport, and savings.

But how can this be translated into a specific amount?

How do we measure a living wage?

Debates have raged in different fora about how best to calculate this standard in a given context. FWF maintains that the best approach to agreeing a living wage is through sound social dialogue between local social partners. In cases where industrial relations are not yet functional, other measurements can help guide companies towards the payment of a living wage. This is where FWF’s Wage Ladder comes in.

Learn more about FWF’s Wage Ladder.

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