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Living Wage

Celebrating National Living Wage Week (2 – 8 November)

It’s now a year since we introduced the Living Wage, benefiting over 1,500 of our lowest-paid staff.

Since October 2013 no South Gloucestershire Council employee has been paid less than the Living Wage (excluding apprentices who are paid the National Minimum Wage for their age).

The Living Wage is good for everyone, for employers and the employees who receive it. Not only does it give people the opportunity to provide for themselves and their families, but research shows that it leads to higher staff morale, improved rates of retention, and lower rates of sickness absence.

During the national Living Wage Week a UK-wide celebration we will be encouraging local businesses and suppliers to pay the Living Wage to their employees.

We will also be liaising with the South West Trade Union Congress, Business West and Employers, including other councils to consider developing a living wage compact for the West of England.

On Monday 3 November staff will also benefit from the announcement of the new Living Wage rate by the Living Wage Foundation, who manage the accreditation of employers and lead the campaign nationally.

“The council wants lasting change for people and places in poverty, communities where everyone can thrive and a more equal society. We think it’s vital that we practice what we preach.” Amanda Deeks, Chief Executive.

“We are very proud that, last year, South Gloucestershire Council voted to become a Living Wage employer. This move was achieved with all party agreement and means that all of our staff are now paid at least the National Living Wage. Although South Gloucestershire Council cannot legally compel its suppliers and providers to pay the Living Wage to their own staff, the Council is committed to working with all concerned to help achieve this goal in the future”.  South Gloucestershire Council’s three political leaders – Cllr Matthew Riddle, Cllr Ruth Davis and Cllr Pat Rooney

What is the Living Wage

The Living Wage is good for everyone. It means workers have more money and the dignity that comes from earning a living, rather than surviving on handouts. The Living Wage is based on the actual cost of living and on the idea that no-one should do a hard day’s work for less than they can live on. When they do it reflects badly on our values as a society and as employers.

It also benefits employers leading to higher staff morale, improved rates of retention, lower rates of sickness and absence, and reputational gain

It is set annually in November in Living Wage Week and unlike the National Minimum Wage, the Living Wage is voluntary, rather than statutory.

Research shows that the benefits of paying the Living Wage include:

  • Improved recruitment and retention of staff
  • Higher worker morale, motivation and productivity
  • Reputational benefits of being an ethical employer

Diagram showing some of the benefits of the Living Wage

 How much is the Living Wage?

The Living Wage was set at £7.65 per hour in the UK and £8.80 per hour in London from November 2013. The rate for the UK is set independently by Loughborough University (London is set by the GLA). In November 2014 the rate was set at £7.85 for the UK and £9.15 for London and this will take effect from April 2015.

What else are we doing during Living Wage Week?

We are looking at the implications of adopting Unison’s Ethical Care Charter to improve working conditions for home care staff and dignity in care for service users. This will be considered by our Lead Members.

How to become a Living Wage Employer

If you’ve decided that you want to apply for accreditation, or you’re thinking seriously about whether you can, please get in touch with the Living Wage Foundation through its website. They will work with you to take you through the process. They also provide an FAQ for employers

Contact us

For general information and advice about the Living Wage for South Gloucestershire service providers/supplier email us at procurement@southglos.gov.uk

For information and advice about  the benefits and challenges of becoming  a Living Wage employer contact the Living Wage Foundation

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