9:00-9:30 The Importance of the Living Wage

Dr Molefe Maleka Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa

Associate Prof Ines Meyer (University of Cape Town, South Africa)

Mr Craig Raath, 21st Century

Decent work and paying employees a wage that enable them to live a good quality of life in dignity are regarded as a remuneration policy to take people out of poverty. By clicking on this link (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbZafHgqumo&feature=youtu.be), it is evident that, globally, low-income workers are impoverished.

In trying to take workers out of poverty, governments globally, for example in New Zealand (NZ) and South Africa (SA), have developed a minimum wage policy. This is determined by different stakeholders, using economic indicators like the Consumer Price Index (CPI). However, a minimum wage does not enable employees to live a dignified life. Hence, researchers under the leadership of Prof Stuart Carr have developed a new approach of determining a living wage. This approach comprises approaching low-income workers and asking them about the wage that would enable them to live a decent life. Using statistical techniques (i.e. Loess curves), researchers are able to determine a living wage range. A living wage is defined as the “remuneration that empowers workers to live a dignified life, participate in societal activities, and support their families” (Anker, 2011:24). Research on a living wage is about finding what Prof Reichmann, a representative of International Association of Applied Psychology (IAAP) from the United Nations (UN), calls a “tipping point” – it is the point where employees earn a decent wage and at the same time the employers are thriving and making a profit.

In this session, researchers will answer the research question above by:
• sharing evidence that shows low-income workers are not engaged; and
• sharing evidence that shows gender differences in terms of how low-income workers rate human resource outcomes (i.e. job satisfaction, affective commitment, vigour, etc.).

Dr Molefe Maleka Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa

From 1998 to 2007, Dr Maleka was employed at Nissan South Africa, where his functions included coordinating the graduate programme, skills audits, change management, and retrenchment package negotiations. From 2007 to 2011, he was employed at Eskom as a Learning and Design Senior Advisor, involved in project management and material development. Dr Maleka obtained a doctorate degree in Sociology from the University of South Africa (UNISA) in 2012. Dr Maleka is currently employed at Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) as the Head of the Department of People Management and Development (PMD). He leads part-time and permanently employed academics and administrative staff. He is a member
of the Global Living Organisation Wage (GLOW), IAAP and Institute of People Management (IPM). He presented three papers at peer-reviewed conferences in Dubai, Vienna, and Tanzania. As an initiative to influence the implementation of a living wage, on 14 February 2017 he presented a paper on the living wage at the UN in New York. Since joining the academia in 2011, he has successfully supervised 12 master’s students, wrote nine papers published in the conference proceedings, and co-wrote seven journal articles. He is also a reviewer for various conference proceedings and journals. In 2017, he won an award at TUT for the best male emerging researcher in 2016.

Associate Prof Ines Meyer (University of Cape Town, South Africa)

Ines Meyer (PhD, UCT) is an Associate Professor in Organisational Psychology at the University of Cape Town (UCT). She moved to South Africa after completing her Psychology degree at Phillipps University of Marburg (Germany). She focuses on applying Organisational Psychology principles to contribute to the alleviation of poverty and to create more humane workplaces and sustainable communities. Her initial involvement in this field was as an organisational development practitioner with Community-based Organisations (CBOs). She continues to consult with non-governmental organisations in the fields of strategy and organisational development. She has been nominated for a UCT distinguished teachers’ award and serves on UCT’s Social Responsiveness Committee. Prof Meyer regularly presents at scientific conferences, and won the best paper award at the 7th Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion International Conference. She has published locally and internationally and was featured in The Industrial Psychologist in 2014. She is a reviewer for various local and international journals, currently co-edits a special edition on humanitarian work psychology for the Journal of Organizational Behavior, and was the initiator and co-organiser of the first Political Psychology in South Africa conference (2014). She is a member of the Global Organisation of Humanitarian Work Psychology (GOHWP) and the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) UN Committee.

Mr Craig Raath, 21st Century, South Africa

Craig Raath, Executive Director at 21st Century, has consulted to over 500 organisations – both in Southern Africa and internationally. Craig holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree, Majoring in Business Economics and Industrial Psychology. Areas of work include incentive scheme design, employee value proposition, financial modelling, performance management systems, salary structuring, strategy and policy development and general Executive remuneration consulting. He also sits on and advises a number of Board Committees. Craig has written numerous articles and speaks at several conferences on various remuneration topics as a recognised industry specialist.