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The private security industry in Britain is facing a crisis. With over 80,000 vacancies and rising attrition rates, security firms are struggling to recruit and retain staff. Low pay is driving experienced officers towards better-compensated roles in retail, logistics and hospitality. This threatens the ability of security companies to keep clients, assets and the public safe.

Assist Security Group (ASG) believes paying the Real Living Wage is imperative for the sustainability of the sector. As an accredited Living Wage employer, ASG has seen the benefits first-hand – lower turnover, greater loyalty and more motivated officers. 

By committing to fair pay, security providers can enhance protection while supporting the livelihoods of officers and their families.

The Real Living Wage is the only wage rate based on actual living costs. In October 2023 it was increased to £12 per hour across the UK and £13.15 in London to reflect rampant inflation. ASG has adjusted officer pay rates accordingly. “The cost of living crisis is hurting many households,” said Troy Hewitt, ASG Chief Executive Officer. “We believe it is our duty to ensure our colleagues earn enough to cover essentials, regardless of role or rank.”

Paying competitive wages aligns with ASG’s focus on officer well-being alongside rigorous training programmes in its commitment to its 6-Point Security Framework – Protection, Prevention, Presentation, Planning, People and Partnership. Well-supported officers lead to high service levels that enable clients like luxury retailers, hotels and other hospitality and event venues to operate successfully.

“Exceptional officers are fundamental for delivering bespoke security solutions tailored to clients’ unique risks,” Hewitt said. “Compensating our officers fairly will attract more talented individuals to the industry.” It also mitigates the risk of highly trained staff being poached by other sectors facing labour shortages.

The Living Wage Foundation reported that 9 out of 10 consumers would feel more positively about companies that pay their staff a Real Living Wage. As clients and the public pay more attention to ethical employment practices, security firms that lead on fair pay stand to benefit.

ASG is encouraging other security users and service providers to become Living Wage accredited employers. “If more firms step up on pay, it would have a tremendous positive impact across the industry,” said Hewitt.

Thousands of security officers work long hours under difficult conditions to keep communities safe. They put themselves at risk to ensure the secure operations of airports, hospitals, corporate offices and more. 

ASG believes paying them fairly is simply the right thing to do for the sustainability and conscience of the sector. Officers protecting important infrastructure should not have to work multiple jobs or rely on food banks to survive.

The Real Living Wage campaign is gaining momentum across sectors and ASG is urging security companies to view fair pay for officers not as a cost, but as an investment that ultimately safeguards client interests by upholding professionalism and resilience.

Going beyond legal minimums to provide officers with a Living Wage is integral to retaining top talent, facilitating career progression and giving the sector a more positive image. Most importantly, it enables officers and their families to live with dignity. “Well-rewarded officers lead to excellent service,” Hewitt emphasised. “Our commitment to officers will always come first.”

Contact ASG for information or a free security audit to assess vulnerabilities in your organisation and to speak with one of our security experts in confidence. Act now to gain actionable insights that enable you to secure your people, property and profits. Email: info@assistsecurity.co.uk or call 0208 543 6670

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