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Almost half of buyers would refuse to use non-Living Wage venues

Results of M&IT reader survey reveal strong industry support for Living Wage

Almost half of event buyers would refuse to book a venue if they knew it didn’t pay the Living Wage. 

As part of our Living Wage for Live Events campaign, we conducted a reader survey into attitudes towards the rate of pay – and the results are fascinating.

A total of 47 per cent of in house event organisers and agency representatives revealed they would not use a venue that did not pay its staff the Living Wage.

The results of our survey also show that 93 per cent of event buyers consider the issue either very important or somewhat important. 

The joint M&IT and Association of British Professional Conference Organisers (ABPCO) campaign aims to apply enough pressure to ensure meetings and event venues pay their frontline staff a minimum of £9.15 per hour in London and £7.85 for the rest of the UK.

Most buyers (60 per cent) would recommend a venue based on payment of the Living Wage, and there are already a small amount of agency clients out there (13 per cent) who are only prepared to use venues that pay the living wage. 

It’s also apparent that our readers see the Living Wage as a boost to business, with almost all respondents anticipating improved service levels from happy staff in venues that pay the rate. 

When asked what you expect from venues that pay the rate, responses included: “Staff that are looked after and generally content with their work life”; “Happier, more committed staff” and “A much better delegate experience for my guests.”

Grass Roots divisional director Des Mclaughlin has hailed the campaign as a “step forward” and commended those taking part.

He said: “The news that venues such as Church House Conference Centre and Sundial have already taken the decision will only serve to take this industry and its standards forward. 

Staff behind the scenes of a hotel or venue are the key to success. If I know that a hotel or venue does not look after their staff then that poses a serious concern for me and I will question using them in future.

“Employers must meet demand with strong wages and an enjoyable working environment but it is also about time that those who do not are called out and revealed. Hospitality is Britain’s fourth largest industry and that is something we cannot allow to be undermined by a rogue minority. The Living Wage will strengthen the industry as a whole and, at the end of the day, it really is the right thing to do.” 

Reader survey results

How important is it to you as an event planner that a venue pays its staff the Living Wage?
Very important 63%
Somewhat important 30%
Not important 5%
It’s never a consideration 2%

If a venue did not pay its staff the Living Wage, would this prevent you from using it?
Yes 47%
No 53% 

Would you recommend a venue to your clients based upon payment of the Living Wage?
Yes 60%
No 40%

Are any of your clients only prepared to use venues that pay the Living Wage?
Yes 13%
No 87% 

What would you expect from a venue that pays its staff the Living Wage?
“Staff that are looked after and generally content with their work life”
“Good service attitude”
“Quality staff and good practice”
“Good customer focus” 
“Better service levels, staff who can think” 
“Happy staff”
“Attention to detail and fully operational”
“A high level of service”
“Happy staff, good service”
“A better band of happier staff”
“A bad service and probably a bad hotel/ hospitality venue”
“That they treat their staff well and are likely to have better terms and conditions because they are voluntarily treating their staff better than the law requires”

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