Created in partnership with the Helpdesk on Business & Human Rights

Living Wage

Today, over a billion working people worldwide – one third of all workers – are estimated to earn less than they need to afford a decent standard of living.

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Further Guidance

Examples of further guidance on living wage include:

  • ILO, Global Wage Report 2021: Wages and Minimum Wages in the Time of COVID-19: This report gives context to changing global wages following the COVID-19 pandemic and provides guidance on wage policies for economic recovery and protection of workers.
  • ILO, Minimum Wage Policy Guide: This website provides information on key questions of good practice related to minimum wages and highlights different choices that can be made depending on national preferences and country circumstances.
  • ILO, The International Labour Organization and the Living Wage: A Historical Perspective: This research paper reviews historical debates related to the adoption of the principle of a living wage between 1919 and these days.
  • Living Wage Foundation, The Sustainable Development Goals and the Living Wage: This report highlights the links between achieving the SDGs and paying a living wage and offers guidance to businesses. There are a lot of resources on the website, mainly focused on businesses in the UK.
  • IDH, The Sustainable Trade Initiative, Better Business through Living Wage: This report provides an overview of the main actions that buying companies should consider to close living wage gaps in supply chains and showcases tools, tips and examples.
  • IDH, Roadmap on Living Wages: This roadmap works to strengthen international alignment and build tangible solutions regarding living wages. It provides a five-step framework for companies to achieve a living wage programme.
  • WageIndicator Foundation: This website functions as an up-to-date online tool that may be used as labour market libraries for workers, employers, Governments, academics and media.
  • SME Compass, Due Diligence Compass: This online tool offers guidance on the overall human rights due diligence process by taking businesses through five key due diligence phases.
  • SME Compass, Standards Compass: This online tool offers guidance on what to pay attention to when selecting sustainability standards or when participating in multi-stakeholder initiatives. It allows comparing standards and initiatives with respect to their contribution to human rights due diligence and their potential limitations.
  • SME Compass, Downloads: Practical guides and checklists are available for download on the SME compass website to embed due diligence processes, improve supply chain management and make mechanisms more effective.
  • ILO Helpdesk for Business, Country Information Hub: This resource can be used to inform human rights due diligence, providing specific country information on different labour rights.
  • United Nations Global Compact, Moving Living Wage Forward Faster – Action Guide: This guide provides companies with target-specific information on how to effectively implement their commitment to improving living wages. This includes KPIs and help designing a strategy to meet the 2030 SDGs.