North Kesteven District Council is now accredited as a Living Wage employer.
The Living Wage Foundation has formally recognised the council for its socially-responsible attitude towards lower paid workers as it joins a group of around 2,500 employers who pay the Living Wage across the country.
The council began paying staff the increment over and above the Minimum Wage in April 2013 – the first authority in the county to do so – and in October 2014 it was agreed to automatically apply increments in the Living Wage rate year-on-year.
Adopting the Living Wage resulted in a pay rise for 53 NKDC employees – 14.5 per cent of its workforce.
The Living Wage is currently £8.25 an hour outside of London, a rate calculated by Loughborough University to cover the basic costs of living. It is reviewed every year, taking into account, through public consensus, what people need to make ends meet.
Council Leader, Coun Marion Brighton, said that a commitment to paying the Living Wage was important as a key employer, as it helped to build confidence within the local workforce and supported a stronger local economy.
“Research has shown that the Living Wage brings wide-ranging rewards”, she said. “Not only do employees earn enough to cover the basic costs of living, but where they honour Living Wage payments, employers also benefit from higher staff retention rates, lower sickness absence and higher productivity as staff feel valued for the work they do.”
She said: “The Living wage supports a more motivated workforce, delivers many benefits and is ultimately a good thing for North Kesteven. And through the Foundation’s accreditation we are very proud to be recognised as one of the best employers.”
Katherine Chapman, Living Wage Foundation Director, said: “We are delighted to welcome North Kesteven District Council to the Living Wage movement as an accredited employer.
“As with the council, the best employers are voluntarily signing up to pay the Living Wage now. The Living Wage is a robust calculation that reflects the cost of living, rewarding a hard day’s work with a fair day’s pay.
As an accredited employer NKDC finds itself among more than 2,500 leading employers, ranging from independent printers, bookshops and breweries, to well-known national companies.
“These businesses recognise that clinging to the national Minimum Wage is not good for business. Customers expect better than that,” said Ms Chapman.