North Ayrshire Council to pay new Living Wage rate early

North Ayrshire Council has committed to paying its staff the new Living Wage five months early.

The new rate of £9.50 per hour was announced yesterday to mark the start of Living Wage Week, although the new rate is not due to be adopted by businesses and organisations until April 2021.

The announcement will affect 737 council employees in predominantly frontline roles.

Council Leader Joe Cullinane, cabinet member for community wealth building, said: “I am proud to lead a Council which has a long-standing commitment to fair work and pay. In doing so, we acknowledge that earning the real Living Wage can make a huge difference to people’s lives.

“Normally, the new rate doesn’t kick in for quite a few months but here at North Ayrshire Council, we have ensured our staff get paid the new rate as soon as possible – a commitment we have delivered on since I became Leader.

“Not only is paying employees a wage that supports a decent standard of living an ethical and responsible thing to do, but there are also clear business and economic benefits in doing so.

“That’s why fair work is one of the key pillars in our Community Wealth Building approach. As North Ayrshire’s largest employer, we have to lead by example and hopefully inspire other businesses and organisations to consider committing to paying the real Living Wage.”

The council has paid the Living Wage since 2011 and is one of a number of local authorities from across Scotland to be officially accredited by the Scottish Living Wage Accreditation Initiative.

In recognition of the council’s long-standing commitment to the movement, Councillor Cullinane has been invited to be a guest speaker at an online nationwide event hosted by Living Wage Scotland.

Attendees will hear about the role of anchor institutions in growing the Living Wage movement and Councillor Cullinane will discuss the importance of Living Wage for North Ayrshire and how it links to the council’s Community Wealth Building approach.

The online event will take place on Friday November 13 from 10am and is open to anyone looking to find out more about the Living Wage. For more information and to book a place, visit the website.

The Living Wage is an independently calculated figure which is updated annually to reflect the basic cost of living in the UK and is voluntarily paid by more than 5,000 businesses who believe their staff deserve a fair day’s pay for a hard day’s work.

According to the Living Wage Foundation, independent research on employers who have introduced the Living Wage has shown increases in employee productivity, greater staff retention and reduced sickness absence, and improved levels of morale, motivation and commitment.

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