Plans to deliver a "living wage" of at least £7.20 per hour for millions of people in the public and private sector are being put at the centre of Labour's bid to return to power, Ed Miliband has said.
The leader of the opposition said the wage - the minimum hourly rate needed for an acceptable standard of living - was a key plank of his "One Nation" vision to share prosperity.
Miliband has been working closely with his brother, David, at looking at three ways of making the pay terms the new norm, including naming and shaming listed companies who do not pay the wage through corporate governance rules, the Daily Mail reports.
It is also considering introducing rules that will see Whitehall contracts awarded to firms who pay workers the living rage or above and giving Treasury-funded incentives to companies who introduce the wage structure.
In an interview with the Independent on Sunday, Miliband said: "You go out, slog your guts out...you deserve a decent wage if the company can afford it.
"We've got a growth crisis in Britain but we've also got a living standards crisis, because the proceeds of economic growth are not being fairly distributed any more.
"This is the next step for One Nation, because One Nation is about everybody having a stake in society. It is about prosperity being fairly shared."
He added: "It is about giving people a proper stake in the future of the country."
The Institute for Fiscal Studies estimates that for every person moved on to the living wage, the Treasury would save around £1,000 from less spending on tax credits and from increased tax revenue.
A number of major firms already pay workers and contractors a living wage - which stands at £8.30 an hour in London - or higher.
Barclays has paid the living wage in London since 2007, while 19 local authorities have been accredited as "living wage employers".
Miliband said wage was good for businesses because staff turnover was lower.
David Miliband, in an interview with the Observer, said: "Our living wage campaign involving unions, students and voluntary organisations is sometimes quietly, sometimes noisily, changing lives.
"A growing number of companies and public-sector employers are leading the way in signing up to the living wage.
"And the Labour party is on board, from the leadership team to the grassroots.
"Poverty pay has no place in the 21st century. Modern employers understand that; we just need to bring the rest with us."
The idea of naming companies who do not offer the wage and paying money back to employers through Treasury savings was set out last week in a report on living standards by the Resolution Foundation.
Gavin Kelly, the think tank's chief executive, said: "One in five British workers are low paid and it's a major reason why so many lower-income families feel as if they're running uphill - working hard but getting almost nowhere.
"The high price of low pay is also borne by the taxpayer through in-work subsidies - so we all have reason to do something about it.
"Requiring listed companies to report how many of their employees receive less than the living wage would introduce the power of transparency to this debate; it would be a vital step and help galvanise change."
Suggested For You
SUBSCRIBE AND FOLLOW
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements.Learn more