Council gives the go-ahead to ‘living wage’ for workers

editorial image

ASHFIELD District Council is set to introduce the living wage for its employees - and council chiefs hope the private sector will follow suit.

The Living Wage campaign aims to increase the quality of life for low-paid workers by paying them a rate of £7.45 for people living outside of London, rather than the minimum wage which is currently £6.19 an hour for adults.

Now members of Ashfield District Council’s cabinet have approved a proposal to introduce the living wage at the authority.

By implementing the living wage, council chiefs hope to show employees that they are valued, as well boost the recruitment and retention of staff members and increase their morale and productivity.

As part of the proposals, staff members who are eligible for the scheme would also receive payments backdated to April of this year.

Speaking at a cabinet meeting on Thursday evening, Coun Chris Baron said: “The public sector setting an example that hopefully the private sector will follow.

“This is the minimum a family needs to live on. We are also going to emphasise with our contractors that this is the kind of thing we expect as an authority.”

His comments were echoed by deputy council leader John Wilmott.

“It will show the council’s commitment valuing its employees,” he said.

“It also proposes to backdate wages to April. It’s a great thing.”

In March, Mansfield District Council agreed to support the introduction of the living wage. It is expected to be introduced from June next year.

The Living Wage Foundation urges employers to voluntarily pay its staff this amount in order to increase its recruitment and retention levels.

According to the foundation it also helps employees provide for their families and lifts them out of poverty.

The campaign has been supported by London Mayor Boris Johnson and Labour leader Ed Miliband.