August 7, 2013 10.58 am This story is over 125 months old

Lincoln council approves living wage increase to all staff

Fairer deal: City of Lincoln Council employees will be over £1 an hour better off after councillors approving the Living Wage increase.

The lowest paid 39 workers at City of Lincoln Council will now receive a living wage of £7.45 per hour after the authority approved the move at a full Council meeting on Tuesday, August 6.

Unlike the National Minimum Wage (currently £6.19), Living Wage is a calculated minimum income standard developed by Loughborough and York universities.

It aims to reflect the cost of actual living in the UK at present, £7.45 an hour excluding London, which is £8.55.

There are 39 city council employees earning below the Living Wage, who will now benefit from a rise in wages.

The workers are mainly cleaners, toilet attendants and clerical workers, with 26 of them female.

The council believes the reason that women end up with low pay is due to being more likely to land part-time work in jobs that attract lower incomes, such as catering, cleaning and caring.

The wage increases will cost the council around £31,000 per year to implement, but will make the workers on average £41 better off per week.

Councillor Ric Metcalfe, Leader of the City of Lincoln Council, said: “This is a positive step towards improving the livelihoods of our lowest paid staff.

“Low pay and poverty are real problems in our city and this has to change. All workers in any job deserve a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.

“We hope that by bringing in the living wage other companies in the city will follow our lead and also adopt it as it makes good business sense to do so.

“Research shows the positives of the scheme far outweigh any negatives, with employers enjoying better recruitment and retention rates, lower absenteeism, an improvement in people’s work and a reputation for being an ethical employer which cares about its staff.”

North Kesteven District Council was the first local authority in Lincolnshire to introduce the living wage for all its employees in June.

Meanwhile at Lincolnshire County Council, of over 5,000 employees, around 90 currently earn under the national living wage of £7.45.