There was good news for social enterprise employees last month as a Social Enterprise UK report revealed that social enterprises are outperforming mainstream small businesses in paying their staff the Living Wage. A survey of 230 social enterprises found that 74 per cent pay their employees at least £8.15 an hour, compared with only 53 per cent of small businesses. Social entrepreneurs set similar high standards for executive pay, with an average ratio of chief executive to the lowest paid staff member of 3.6:1, compared with a whopping 150:1 for the FTSE 100. Peter Holbrook, chief executive of Social Enterprise UK, says: "It is heartening that the vast majority of social enterprises see paying the Living Wage as essential."
I attended the now annual Social Value Summit at the British Medical Association HQ. Adrian Ringrose, chief executive of the construction giant Interserve, the event sponsor, offered a strong pitch to be the private sector boss most excited about the topic. He said the third album by his favourite band, Led Zeppelin III, included three songs that illustrated his key points: Celebration Day, Friends and That's The Way.
Rob Wilson, the Minister for Civil Society, who handed out the Cabinet Office's Social Value Awards, also noted his wry amusement at being at the BMA at time of tension between ministers and doctors. Winners included Durham County Council and Dave Sweeney from Halton Clinical Commissioning Group for their efforts to make use of the social value act.