The UK has an increasing income inequality issue and large companies are at the forefront of that problem. There are several aspects that they are failing workers, firstly, most don't offer a living wage outside of London, let alone in London. Secondly, their focus is statistical rather than personal. Finally, the standard practice is to offer those at the bottom of the ladder a per hour wage, this can contribute negatively to both the business and the employee.

The latter seems like a farfetched idea but the per hour wage is archaic and doesn't always suit the needs of the modern economy.

We live in an economic environment which requires high productivity and efficiency, but employers continue to exploit workers.

The retail industry

The sector that is guiltiest of exploiting workers and largely paying their staff significantly less than they work for is the Retail Industry. Sainsburys have just given their staff a pay rise of 4%, which granted is high. But when that amounts to an increase to £8 per hour (£8.85 in London), it's clear that they still aren't paying their staff a real living wage. Other retailers are doing the same but much like Sainsburys, this doesn't increase employees' wages to a real living wage. However, even offering a per hourly rate in certain areas of businesses is counter-productive.

For example, time sensitive work. If you are doing a job and you have set amounts of workload to do within a period. Individuals who are more productive and finish earlier, who are then given the option of going home (sometimes forced to despite objections), are penalised through an hourly wage because they will lose money.

Whereas, individuals who are less productive are rewarded for taking longer. In these circumstances a per hour wage is counter-productive. Even in roles that have no time constraints, the security of an annual wage would increase morale among the workforce.

If you look at from a worker's perspective, annual wage rewards employees and encourages them to be productive.

However, this is only the case if the employer is paying its staff a real living wage and most in the retail and service sector, use zero-hour contracts to exploit workers and save on costs. They also analyse sales figures harshly as statistical and every worker is number but that view on sales in sectors that rely heavily on customer interaction will cause sales to drop in the long-term.