Carrs Pasties is a third-generation, family-run business based in Bolton which has been making pasties since 1938. Currently comprising three retail sites and a manufacturing site, all based in Bolton, the business employs more than 80 staff across its retail, customer service, baking, packing and delivery departments.
Operations Manager Gavin Astley gives his insight from adopting the real Living Wage:
Q: What does the real Living Wage campaign mean to you?
A: At Carrs Pasties we live by our values: Work as a Family, Do the Right Thing and Fill Everything with Pride. For us, the real Living Wage touches all three of these values. We are a business with a big heart, and that heart comes directly from our people. To make sure we are working as a family, doing the right thing, and filling everything with pride, it’s a natural desire for us to want to pay our people a wage that goes some way to ensuring a standard of living we want them to enjoy. We strive to ensure people don’t struggle, which in this day and age is more challenging than ever, however it's simply not an option for us to do anything else – it doesn’t even enter our minds.
Q: How did your journey towards being a real Living Wage accredited employer begin?
A: Our journey started by looking at the Good Employment Charter as something we wanted to align ourselves with to help us ensure we are doing the best we can for our people in all areas of their working lives. It’s not just about pay, though that is a crucial element. There is much more to being happy and content than pay alone.
Q: What would you say have been the biggest benefits you’ve seen after becoming real Living Wage-accredited?
A: The obvious thing to say is that people have seen a wage increase, which of course is true – however it runs deeper than that, and it touches deeply on respect and value. A much bigger impact of the real Living Wage is that people feel a higher sense of being valued and that they matter that much more. Think of it this way: if an employer told their employee they valued them so little they would pay them “the minimum possible”, for example, the minimum wage, that is a very clear statement of valuing the person as low as is physically possible, and that isn’t good at all. People matter and should be valued as highly as possible – it’s as simple as that.
Q: What message do you have to other employers in your field who are not already real Living Wage-accredited?
A: I fully appreciate business is tough in these modern times – competition is fierce, and costs are ever increasing. However, valuing people must remain everyone’s number one priority. There is plenty of evidence out there to demonstrate how a happy workforce is a productive workforce. If that’s your motivation to make the jump to the real Living Wage that’s fine, that works, and everyone wins. For me, that’s a by-product – caring about people is just that right thing to do.