Why PARC is Staying Living Wage Certified – Even Amid the Rising Cost of Living

in News

Written by PARC Retirement Living

Since June 2017, PARC Retirement Living has been a proud Living Wage employer. In fact, we led the way for other B.C. senior living companies by becoming the first in the industry to earn this certification. And with our newest community, Cristalina PARC, in Kelowna, we have another first on the books: we’re the only senior living company in Kelowna to be Living Wage certified!

Despite the increase in living costs we’ve seen across the province and country-wide over the last few years, PARC is committed to maintaining this certification, reinforcing our commitment to employee well-being and the broader community.

What is a Living Wage?

A Living Wage is the hourly amount a family needs to earn to meet the basic costs of living comfortably in their region, including essentials such as rent, groceries and transportation, as well as additional necessities like extended health care and emergency savings. This wage ensures that families can maintain a decent standard of living without the constant worry of financial stress.

The Living Wage is different from region to region, because it’s based on costs calculated locally. In a diverse province like B.C., for instance, some communities have lower housing and childcare costs, while others have wider access to low-cost public transit, or goods and services. The Living Wage also rises with the average cost of living – meaning to keep up their certification, employers must continue to adjust wages to reflect current conditions.

The formula to calculate the Living Wage uses a two-parent family with two children as a baseline – the most common family unit in BC – and each parent working full-time. You can find the rates across B.C. using the map provided by Living Wages for Families BC.

Why is a Living Wage so Important?

Many families find that despite working full-time, their income doesn’t cover basic expenses, leading to tough choices between essentials like food and healthcare. A Living Wage addresses this gap, allowing workers to fully participate in their communities and providing a buffer against economic changes.

For PARC employees, receiving a Living Wage means more than just financial stability; it allows them to live a fulfilling life, pursuing activities and desires that give them a sense of enrichment and connection, and supporting their families’ health and education.

For employers, Living Wages are proven to reduce turnover rates – reducing recruitment and training costs and leading to increased employee satisfaction and productivity. Living Wages help foster loyalty and dedication, because employees feel valued and respected. We see this firsthand at PARC: when they’re fairly compensated, people are more likely to stay long-term and feel connected and appreciated in the PARC family. Adopting a Living Wage also helps set the standard within the industry, encouraging other organizations to adopt similar practices.

In the broader community, as well, Living Wage employers make a positive impact. When workers have more disposable income, they spend more in their communities, supporting local businesses and services. This, in turn, creates a positive economic cycle that benefits everyone.

Looking Ahead as a Living Wage Employer

As we collectively face the challenges of rising living costs, maintaining PARC’s Living Wage commitment is more important than ever. We remain dedicated to ensuring that our employees can meet their daily needs and enjoy a quality of life that reflects the values of fairness and respect. This is because social responsibility is at the heart of everything we do at PARC – Living Wage certification is just one facet!

Here is the bottom line: we recognize that PARC employees are the backbone of our community, and investing in their well-being is an investment in our collective success. After all, building thriving, vibrant communities is what we do: our employees are no exception!

Learn more about PARC’s residences and career opportunities.