West Lancashire Borough Council has introduced a pay supplement to ensure that its staff are in receipt of the nationally-recognised Living Wage.
The Living Wage is the hourly rate of pay calculated independently to be the minimum that a worker needs to earn to cover the basic costs of living. An employer may choose to pay it, but has no statutory obligation to do so.
From 4 November 2013, the rate of the Living Wage is set at £7.65 an hour outside London and £8.80 an hour in London, reflecting higher living costs in the capital than the rest of the UK.
From 1 January 2014, 28 people working for the Council who were being paid less than £7.65 an hour will find their wages increased to that level.
Councillor Val Hopley, portfolio holder for Human Resources, said: “The Council prides itself on being a good employer. Work should pay and introducing this policy will help our lowest paid workers.”
The current national minimum wage for people aged 21 and over is £6.31 per hour, although the lowest paid West Lancashire Borough Council employees were paid £6.62 per hour before the introduction of the living wage supplement.
Some other employers that have introduced the Living Wage, according to the Living Wage Foundation, include Birmingham City Council, Salford City Council, the London Borough Greenwich, The National Housing Federation and a host of other public and private sector bodies and charities.
The Council takes a measured and planned approach to all its business planning and budgetary needs. The annual cost to the Council of this new policy will be in the region of £11,000 at current salary levels.
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