Eastleigh Borough Council has underlined its commitment to its current staff – and to future employees - by achieving accreditation as a Living Wage Employer.
Although the Council already pays at least the nationally recognised Living Wage to employees, becoming accredited - and being able to demonstrate this as a part of its ‘employer branding’ - provides further reassurance to job applicants that the authority prioritises employee wellbeing.
By paying Living Wage, the Council aims to promote sustainable and ethical business in our community; becoming accredited also means that the Council encourages the Living Wage commitment among its suppliers.
Unlike the national minimum wage, the real Living Wage is the only rate calculated according to the costs of living. It provides a voluntary benchmark for employers wishing to ensure their staff earn a wage they can live on, not just the baseline rate set by the government. Since 2011 the Living Wage movement has delivered a pay rise to over 250,000 people and put over £1.3 billion extra into the pockets of low paid workers.
The Living Wage commitment guarantees a minimum hourly wage of £9.50 in the UK (or £10.85 in London). Both rates are significantly higher than the government minimum for over-23s, which currently stands at £8.91 per hour. In the South East, 15% of all jobs pay less than the real Living Wage - around 572,000 jobs.
The Leader of Eastleigh Borough Council, Councillor Keith House said: “At Eastleigh Borough Council, our employees are by far our most valuable asset. It is important that this is reflected in the way we reward our staff – and that we are able to demonstrate our commitment to paying at least the nationally recognised Living Wage by winning this accreditation. It will prove useful in future staff recruitment and retention.”
Laura Gardiner, Director, Living Wage Foundation said: “We’re delighted that Eastleigh Borough Council has joined the movement of over 7,000 responsible employers across the UK who voluntarily commit to go further than the government minimum to make sure all their staff earn enough to live on.
“They join thousands of small businesses, as well as household names such as Burberry, Barclays, Everton Football Club and many more. These businesses recognise that paying the real Living Wage is the mark of a responsible employer and they, like Eastleigh Borough Council, believe that a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay."
(*Note - rates for apprentices fall outside the Living Wage provisions).