Lincoln council urges businesses to pay staff the living wage

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Letters are being sent to more than 800 businesses in the city urging them to pay workers the living wage.

‘Making Lincoln Living Wage’ is a campaign started by Lincoln Living Wage Forum, made up of representatives from the private, voluntary, educational, trade union and public sectors, including City of Lincoln Council.

The aim is to encourage employers to pay the rate that is calculated to meet the basic cost of living in the UK, currently £7.85 an hour outside of London. This is different to the National Minimum Wage set by HMRC.

City of Lincoln Council Leader, Councillor Ric Metcalfe

City of Lincoln Council Leader, Councillor Ric Metcalfe

Councillor Ric Metcalfe, Interim Chair of Lincoln Living Wage Forum and Leader of the city council, said: “Paying staff the living wage not only helps the employee but has proven benefits for the employer.

“Studies have shown that living wage employers enjoy better staff retention rates, lower absenteeism and a committed workforce that feels valued.

“A study in London revealed 70% of living wage employers felt it had increased consumer awareness of their organisation’s commitment to being an ethical employer.

“At the recent annual meeting of the Institute of Directors in Lincolnshire, business leaders highlighted the importance of increased wage packets to boosting the economy.

“City of Lincoln Council has been paying its staff the living wage since the summer of 2013 and I would strongly encourage businesses in the city to do the same.

“Lincoln is a city of ambition and growth, and we want as many people to share in its prosperity as possible. The living wage enables this, and promotes the city as an attractive and modern place to live, work, and do business.”

A number of businesses have already joined the Lincoln Living Wage Register, which is free to sign up to. The aim is to create a list of all the employers in the city paying the Living Wage.

Each company or organisation listed gets to say why they use this rate of pay.

Businesses signing up to the register will receive a window sticker and electronic logo that can be displayed to show they pay the living wage.

The accreditation works on a three-star rating:

  • One star for being a living wage employer
  • Two stars for being a living wage employer and using living wage suppliers; or being a living wage employer and banning zero hour contracts (except relief contracts where the employee is free to turn down hours)
  • Three stars for being a living wage employer, using living wage suppliers and banning zero hour contracts (except relief contracts where the employee is free to turn down hours)

Firms paying the living wage can sign up to the register by filling in an online form here.

Development Plus say on the register: “We believe it is essential to pay our staff a living wage because we value the work they do. One of our guiding principles is social justice and equality, paying the living wage is one way to demonstrate that.”

Acts Trust states: “As a local employer who has a particular focus on alleviating poverty in the city we feel it is important to value our own staff and ensure a fair wage is paid, one which more accurately reflects the cost of living today.”

Chris Rooke Management say: “We provide a personal accountancy, taxation and business advice service looking after our clients along with our staff and that’s why we pay above the living wage.”

Lindum College states: “We pay way above the living wage as most of our staff have undergone a huge learning curve to do the job, and the others from cleaner upward are respected and rewarded accordingly.”

More information about the living wage, including frequently asked questions and employer and employee benefits, can be found on the Lincoln Against Poverty website.