Workplace services provider to pay all staff the living wage

Diversity in the workplaceServices and facilities management group Sodexo has announced it is to join the Living Wage’s Service Provider Scheme and in future will report on and address the gender pay gap. It is part of its Public Service Pledge, an ethical manifesto for its contracts and conduct that includes a set of commitments aimed at ‘achieving a fairer and better society’. The Pledge also details ways in which it will step up reporting on its public sector contracts to increase transparency and accountability. Chief among these are pledges to publish the savings produced for Central Government through its contracts, and to publish annually how it has contributed towards Government clients’ stated target outcomes. Sodexo employs 34,000 employees in the UK and Ireland, with over half of those working on Government contracts, in justice, defence, healthcare and education.

Sodexo UK and Ireland’s chief executive Debbie White commented; “We very much believe that in our relationships with our clients, whether they be in the public or private sector, we sign a social as well as commercial contract. Our Public Service Pledge is designed to bring this to life; to give us a set of tangible actions, commitments and targets that will help us demonstrate our principles.

“The Public Service Pledge is also about setting out our stall as a leading services company and fighting the corner for private sector provision in the public sector. We are eager to demonstrate the many positive examples of superb private sector provision of public services and how private sector companies can bring unbeatable value and outcomes to clients.”

As part of pledge, the company says it is committed to equality of opportunity and equal pay and that it pledges to undertake regular pay audits in the UK & Ireland, to publically publish the results by gender, ethnicity, disability, and by working pattern and will commit to investigate and resolve any unjustifiable pay gaps found.

Speaking at the launch of the Pledge in Westminster, Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude said; “Reforming public services to improve their quality and drive savings for taxpayers is a core part of his Government’s long-term economic plan.

“We are on track to save taxpayers £20 billion this year compared to a 2009/10 baseline through efficiency and reform, and by reducing losses to fraud, error and debt. There’s so much more to do in the years to come and we have ambitious plans to accelerate our savings.”

For further details and a video about the Pledge click here