Thirty-four UK agencies including Everything Different have pledged to pay all employees and interns a real living wage, in a bid to remove financial barriers to entering the creative industry. Companies that have signed up to the Real Living Wage promise to pay anyone working for them on their premises who is over the age of 18 - from interns to freelancers and cleaners -a wage of £10.20 per hour in London and £8.75 per hour outside the capital.
These figures are calculated by the Living Wage Foundation based on the cost of living and are higher than the government's national living wage, which is £7.50 per hour for those aged 25 and over and will rise to £7.83 on 1 April.
The Real Living Wage Pledge is spearheaded by Everything Different as one of thirty four creative agencies and supported by organisations including AAR, IPA, Oystercatchers, and Campaign. The initiative includes adults on work experience and internships, areas that are not currently covered. Research by the Sutton Trust has shown that 31 % of university graduates working as interns are doing so for no pay, while the monthly cost to an intern in London averages more than £1000. The number of unpaid internships has doubled since 2010.
Ben Quigley, Group Chief Executive of Everything Different said "The initiative aims to help fix the diversity problem in the creative industries. We want relevant experience but haven't paid people when they are trying to get it, which means the doors are too often shut to people who can't afford to work for free."