Business

Persimmon is under pressure on paying the “real living wage” at today’s AGM

Major investors with £23bn under management are today set to pile the pressure on housebuilder Persimmon to pay its employees the “real living wage”.

At Persimmons annual general meeting, the company will be presented with a petition calling for it to accredit with the Living Wage Foundation, a campaigning group supported by the likes of Aviva and Ikea.

Already institutional shareholders including Nest, the governments workplace pension scheme, and Strathclyde Pension Fund have been urging Persimmon to take action.

“It is fundamental that companies within the FTSE 100 are able to demonstrate responsible business practice and the fair treatment of staff,” said Strathclyde Pension Funds Richard Keery.

Nest's Mark Fawcett added: “For investors such as ourselves, accreditation with the Living Wage Foundation sends a clear signal that a company values its employees and is focusing on the long-term success of the business through investment in staff."

The petition has been signed by more than 6,500 people with their pensions invested in the business.

Read more: Pay at Persimmon could cause shareholder revolt as investors baulk at boss's £100m bonus

Persimmon is also set to take a beating from other institutional shareholders who are protesting about the £100m bonus (later reduced to £75m) it has paid boss Jeff Fairburn.

“We calculate that Fairburns bonus could pay 4,100 full-time Persimmon staff at the living wage rate for outside of London. That sort of inequality is indefensible,” said Clem McCulloch, of shareholder advisory group Share Action which coordinates the coalition on the real living wage.

The real living wage, calculated by the Living Wage Foundation, is currently £10.20 per hour for London and £8.75 per hour for outside the capital.

This compares to the obligatory blanket national living wage calculated by the government of £7.83 for over 25-year-olds.

Read more: London living wage to rise faster than inflation to break through £10 per hour for first time

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