First theatre company officially accredited as a living wage employer revealed
Theatre Delicatessen has become the first theatre company to be officially accredited as a living wage employer.
The accreditation is awarded by the Living Wage Foundation, and guarantees that all of the company’s staff will receive at least the living wage, which is £7.65 an hour.
Theatre Delicatessen has said it will pay all of its permanent staff the London living wage, which is £8.80 an hour. All other temporary staff, such as box office attendants and bar staff, will get the living wage rate of £7.65 an hour.
Living Wage Foundation director Rhys Moore described the theatre company’s “commitment to tackling the problem of poverty wages” as a “practical demonstration of leadership in the sector”.
He said that there was no reason why “some of the big-name West End venues and national companies should not follow suit”.
“The best employers are voluntarily signing up to pay the living wage now. The living wage is a robust calculation that reflects the real cost of living, rewarding a hard day’s work with a fair day’s pay,” he said.
The theatre company’s founder, Jessica Brewster, said it had “made a commitment to accredit as a living wage employer as soon as it became financially possible”.
“Ethically we believe that artists are entitled to a decent standard of living. Just because someone chooses to follow a creative career path doesn’t mean they should sign up to a lifetime of low pay,” she added.
Theatre Delicatessen has been joined in accreditation by Collective Encounters, an arts organisation based in Liverpool.
Annette Burghes, executive director at Collective Encounters, urged others in the sector to “follow suit and join forces to raise the profile of this important issue”.
The Living Wage Foundation said it was aiming to have 1,000 accredited employers by Living Wage Week in November.