Breakout Session Day 2

Is Living Wage “Relevant” and “Urgent” in the Wake of COVID-19?

29 October 2020 | 11:00 – 12:30 IST


In situations of paid employment, living wage refers to ‘fair and decent’ level of income that can contribute towards enabling workers, particularly in the lower socio-economic sections of society, to fulfil basic needs leave some discretionary balance money with them, and allow for dignity and participation in society. Arguably, living wage has the potential to influence and impact decent  work life and the quality of life overall, and go beyond mere economic subsistence. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, some scholars believe that the vulnerabilities for workers and the importance and urgency of living wage, to enable individual, and in turn business and societal resilience, has been critically highlighted. On the other hand, when global and national economies are seemingly touching a new all-time low and joblessness and unemployment rates are on the rise, we contemplate how relevant and justified are the demand for living wage in difficult economic conditions? This session aims to initiate “difficult conversations” on the challenges and opportunities the C-19 global disruptor poses for sustainable livelihoods and shared prosperity under the SDGs and Decent Work Agenda.  By convening different and sometimes contesting perspectives, the session will  deliberate on and debate the most challenging questions around living wages as India and the world build back ‘better’.

Session Objectives:

  • Co-problematising the notion of living wage
  • Co-generating ideas on realizing fair wages and incomes for all


Prof. Stuart Carr

Professor of Psychology, Industrial and Organizational (I/O) Psychology Program
Massey University, New Zealand


Faculty Member
Aston Business School, UK
Honorary Chairperson

Prabhat K Bezboruah

Tea Board India

Mr. Arijit Raha

Secretary General and CEO
Indian Tea Association

Dr. Rahul Suresh Sapkal

Assistant Professor
Centre for Labour Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences Mumbai

Stephen Ekka


Ms. Ranjana Das

Programme Coordinator
Oxfam India

Mr. Allistair Leadbetter

Supply Chain Development and Business Support Manager
Traidcraft Exchange and Traidcraft PLC, UK

Ms. Ranu Bhogal

Director - Policy, Reasearch & Campaigns
Oxfam India

Dr. Divya Jyoti

Centre for Responsible Business