Proper Oils has been a proud Living Wage employer since 2015.
The Living Wage is based on the cost of living and is voluntarily paid by 3,500 employers across the UK who “believe a fair day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay”, according to the Living Wage Foundation. We are proud to stand with household names like Ikea and Nationwide in our support of this.
In fact, here at Proper Oils, which is based in west London, we are careful to pay over and above the London Living Wage – a rate based on the real cost of living in the capital. And we have committed to raising current salaries at the next pay review to meet the new, higher London Living Wage rate of £10.20 an hour.
“I believe that paying the London Living Wage is the right thing to do for the team,” says Stephen. “It’s important to treat your staff with respect and reward them for their commitment. It’s pretty simple: London is an expensive place to live and raise a family, and no-one wants to struggle financially.”
It helps us attract good staff too
Stephen has also found that paying above the London Living Wage makes great commercial sense when it comes to acquiring a high-calibre team.
For example, Proper Oils must recruit drivers with particular qualities. “It isn’t enough that they are skilled at manoeuvring a lorry through the busy streets of London and the South of England,” says Stephen. “Nor even that they are physically fit enough to meet the demands of shifting and lifting required to collect waste cooking oil.
“Our drivers are also the customer service face of Proper Oils – the only members of my team to meet clients on a daily basis. They need excellent diplomacy skills so they can respond to queries and solve customers’ problems with ease.”
On the other hand, our yard team requires a scientific skillset. They must recycle and prepare the used cooking oil to the high specifications demanded by the biofuels refineries that we work with. Attracting excellent staff has been essential to getting this done correctly, day in day out.
We would love to inspire other companies to follow suit and sign up to the London Living Wage too, and wish we had more resources to dedicate to this.
In the meantime, we will tell anyone who asks that providing a fair deal offers multiple benefits – from attracting and rewarding a great team to empowering them to continue working with us as the company grows.
This blog post is adapted from one we wrote for the Sustainable Restaurant Association.
5 ways a grease trap can help your food business and prevent fatbergs
Customer case study: Pennyhill Park Hotel in Surrey
Fuel to be named after its biofuel blend at the petrol pumps
6 things to think about before you choose your used cooking oil storage containers