Calderdale Council is celebrating becoming the first council in West Yorkshire to be accredited as a Living Wage employer by the Living Wage Foundation.
The Living Wage commitment will see everyone working at the Council – regardless of whether they are permanent employees or third-party contractors and suppliers – receive a minimum hourly wage of £7.85, which is significantly higher than the national minimum wage of £6.50.
The Living Wage is an hourly rate set independently and updated annually. The Living Wage is calculated according to the basic cost of living using the ‘Minimum Income Standard’ for the UK. Decisions about what to include in this standard are set by the public; it is a social consensus about what people need to make ends meet.
Employers choose to pay the Living Wage on a voluntary basis. Calderdale Council took the step to pay the Living Wage to its staff from April 2014, but has now been assessed by the Living Wage Foundation on a number of further requirements to meet the accreditation standard.
Calderdale Council’s Leader, Cllr Tim Swift, said:
“We are delighted to be accredited as a Living Wage employer. We are the first council in West Yorkshire to adopt the Living Wage, and over 250 Calderdale Council workers will see a welcome boost to their pay packets as a result. Many of our lowest paid workers provide the essential services that our communities rely on, when they might be going through difficult times themselves.
“We were determined to provide the Living Wage to ensure these staff receive a fair wage for a day’s work, and have the opportunity to provide for themselves and their families. This has been proven to lead to a happier, healthier and more productive workforce, helping to boost the quality of services.
“Our vision is for the whole of Calderdale to be a Living Wage borough to help reduce poverty, so we’re working hard to encourage other local employers to sign up to the scheme and use our buying power to persuade our suppliers to pay the Living Wage to their employees. It’s great to see other employers in Calderdale, including Nestlé and Marshalls, already on board. Will you join us and sign up?”
Living Wage Foundation Director, Rhys Moore said:
“We are delighted to welcome Calderdale Council to the Living Wage movement as an accredited employer.
“The best employers are voluntarily signing up to pay the Living Wage now. The Living Wage is a robust calculation that reflects the real cost of living, rewarding a hard day’s work with a fair day’s pay.
“We have accredited over 1,500 leading employers, ranging from independent printers, bookshops and breweries, to well-known companies such as Nationwide, Aviva and SSE. These businesses recognise that clinging to the national minimum wage is not good for business. Customers expect better than that.”