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M&IT and ABPCO launch Living Wage for Live Events campaign

Campaign will urge event buyers and policy makers to put an end to low pay in the hospitality sector

M&IT magazine has joined forces with the Association of British Professional Conference Organisers (ABPCO) to launch its campaign for the living wage in live events.

The hotel and hospitality sectors are rated among the worst offenders for failing to pay frontline staff the living wage, which is calculated as £9.15 per hour in London and £7.85 in the rest of the UK. Up to 90 per cent of workers in the hospitality sector live below the living wage – a rate calculated by the Centre for Research in Social Policy, but not enforceable.

Sundial Group’s Barnett Hill became the first conference hotel to become Living Wage Accredited by the Living Wage Foundation, and the M&IT campaign urges all event buyers to put the living wage at the top of the agenda when selecting a venue, and policy makers to address low pay in the sector.

And ABPCO, whose membership places around £60 million per year on venues and suppliers, has given its backing. 

Joint chair Caroline Windsor and Nicole Leida said: “ABPCO has decided to support this campaign because we believe it will ensure the debate pursues the argument for a living wage for the events industry at a much higher level. 

"We can’t demand our members or our suppliers to join us but we can try to persuade them of the validity of the argument as part of the M&IT campaign. We will be taking the debate to all stakeholders in our industry to try to get their support and recognising those who adopt the living wage as a policy.”

M&IT will feature a roll call of living wage accredited venues, plus those who are committed to paying the rate, while carrying interviews from both sides of the argument and detailing why paying the living wage makes ethical and business sense, both online and in future print editions, with a live debate planned for this autumn. 

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