P2P is proud to showcase employers in our region who have signed on to the Windsor Essex Living Wage campaign.

A living wage reflects what earners in a family need to bring home, based on the actual cost of living in a specific community, to live with dignity and participate as active citizens in our society.

It reflects the notion that every individual has the right to enjoy good health, recreation, culture and entertainment, to raise children, and to fully partake in social and civic activities, as opposed to minimally “surviving” in basic physiological terms.

Essentially, a living wage covers the basic living expenses that every human being is entitled to incur and allows earners to have a satisfactory quality of life.

A living wage allows individuals to:

  • feed, clothe and provide shelter for their family;
  • promote healthy child development;
  • participate in activities that are an ordinary part of life in the community; and
  • avoid the chronic stress of living in poverty.

More and more families are working for low wages. They are facing impossible choices – buy food or pay the hydro bill, feed the children or pay the rent. The result can be spiralling debt, constant anxiety and long-term health problems. In many cases it means that the adults in the family are working long hours, often at multiple jobs, just to pay for basic necessities.

In Windsor-Essex, 8.6% (17,580) of the working population are considered the working poor — families who are playing by the rules by working and contributing to the productivity and prosperity of our community — yet struggle day to day to meet their basic needs.

The working poor in Windsor-Essex primarily work in the sales and service industry. They are only slightly less educated than the working non-poor.

A living wage framework invites employers to re-examine compensation through the lens of what it actually costs to live and raise children here in Windsor-Essex, as opposed to accepting industry norms at face value.

Paying decent wages and treating employees properly makes better business sense and leads to higher profits.

Paying a living wage increases employee productivity, morale, and loyalty

When employees struggle financially, they will often take on several jobs in order to make ends meet.

This additional work strain often reduces worker productivity. Reducing work strain by compensating employees with a living wage can bolster worker loyalty and creativity, and improve workplace morale.

Paying a living wage increases employee retention

Employees paid less than the living wage will be constantly looking for another job with higher wages. The cost of replacing employees is significant in terms of administration and training, and could impose a much higher cost on employers than paying a living wage.

Paying a living wage reduces absenteeism and medical costs

Paying a living wage decreases employee stress, which is the most significant cause of employees being sick. 56% of employees stated that work-related stress was the top health concern.

This concern presents an opportunity for organizations to make a large impact on employee health with associated bottom line outcomes.

Stressed employees are more likely to:

  • Spend more on prescription medications
  • Elevate absence costs by up to 19%
  • Elevate disability costs by up to 30%
  • Elevate turnover costs by up to 40%
Paying a living wage increases positive brand association

70% of employers involved in the London, England Living Wage Program felt that being publicly recognized as paying a living wage had increased consumer awareness of their organization’s commitment to being an ethical employer.

Most people want to work for a company whose values are consistent with their own.

The majority of young people believe in the power of responsible business practice to improve profitability.

Corporate responsibility is a key factor in attracting and retaining a talented and diverse workforce and reduces the cost associated with employee recruitment due to turnover.

Municipal governments should care about a living wage because they end up paying a large price for low wages. Families earning low wages have less money available for spending and circulating in the local economy, and parents (forced to take on more hours or a second job to make ends meet) have less time to spend with their children. Municipal governments and school boards consequently end up filling the gaps by paying for additional services and policing costs.

Improving the overall economy with greater consumer purchasing power

Raising wages is good for business and the overall economy. Why? Because when lower-income workers have more money to spend, they spend it — almost entirely in the local community — on basic necessities like housing, food, clothing and transportation. When consumer demand grows, businesses thrive, earn more profits, and create more jobs. Economists call this the “multiplier effect”.

P2P would be happy to provide living wage employers, and those considering becoming a living wage employer, with brochures and 1″ buttons.
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Become a Living Wage Employer


To be considered a living wage Employer means that all employees (full-time, part-time and casual) must be paid the current living wage rate within Windsor-Essex. If you pay non-mandatory benefits to your employees, the living wage hourly rate will be reduced to take account of this. Employees paid by incentive-based pay (tips) or commission can be paid less than a living wage provided their total earnings (including incentive-based pay and/or commission) equal or exceed the living wage.
Based on the National Living Wage Framework, the current living wage for Windsor Essex (valid through July 2015) is $13.10/hr. with benefits (i.e., healthcare/medical, or transportation) and $14.15/hr. without.

Additional Information

  • Each employer will receive a window decal, certificate and website graphic to promote that they are a Living Wage Employer.
  • This application is considered confidential, and will only be shown to living wage team members. No copies will be made or distributed.
  • Any questions regarding the certification process or criteria should be directed towards Adam Vasey by telephone 519-255-6545 ext. 6953 or email livingwage@pathwaytopotential.ca

Click the button below to fill out our online form to become a Living Wage employer.

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