Introducing Wagemark: New standard for fair and competitive compensation aims to reduce growing income inequality

TORONTO, July 17, 2013 /CNW/ - A new international wage standard used by companies, non-profit organizations, and government agencies, opens today for business in Toronto. Wagemark aims to reduce growing income inequality by certifying employers that ensure that the ratio between their highest and lowest earners is competitive and sustainable.

"We believe Wagemark is a simple way to create a level playing field and build organizations and societies that are more competitive, prosperous and fair. We're asking employers to make their mark for smart business.'' says Peter MacLeod, Executive Director of the Wagemark Foundation.

Wagemark-certified organizations commit to capping top compensation at eight times the wage of their lowest paid decile of employees. The Wagemark Standard has been in development for more than a year and builds on recent research concerning the link between fair compensation, workplace morale, worker productivity and long-term competitiveness.

"Wagemark is about establishing a new moral standard for companies that want to see a better world." says Richard G. Wilkinson, Emeritus Professor of Social Epidemiology at the University of Nottingham, and co-author of the international best-seller, The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better.

"Wagemark is a tangible solution to growing income inequality. It's something that employers can adopt, that governments can endorse and that consumers can demand." says Maureen Fair, Co-Chair of the Wagemark Foundation and Executive Director of St. Christopher House, a partner of the initiative.

Wagemark is delighted to welcome aboard its first cohort of organizations and businesses including: Evergreen, Canada's third largest environmental charity; Impact Mobile, a mobile software company; oxiBrite, a manufacturer of detergents, urbanSpace, a property development group, and Bellwoods Brewery, among others. Additional Wagemark-certified organizations will be announced this autumn.

"Wagemark is an important initiative to highlight the issue of income inequality at work and to reward the businesses that have low pay differentials," says Deborah Hargreaves, former business editor at the Guardian and financial editor at the Financial Times, and currently Executive Director of Britain's High Pay Centre. "A large pay gap between those at the top and everyone else undermines employees' motivation and reduces productivity.  There are strong business and economic reasons for a low pay ratio and it is vital that companies adopt these guidelines."

Wagemark certification costs $200 per year and can be authorized by any Chartered Accountant. Proceeds raised by the Wagemark Foundation will be used to fund new research on competitiveness and compensation.

Wagemark has been established with generous support from the Metcalf and Atkinson Foundations.

Download a backgrounder at: www.wagemark.org/backgrounder.pdf

Watch the 45 second launch video at www.wagemark.org

SOURCE: Wagemark Foundation

For further information:

please contact:

Peter MacLeod, Executive Director
peter@wagemark.org
416-833-3194

The Wagemark Foundation
392A King St. East
Toronto, ON M5A 1K9

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Wagemark Foundation

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