FROM 1 APRIL all staff at Cambridge City Council will be paid a minimum of £10 per hour.
The new minimum pay was agreed as part of the council’s budget and pay policy which was approved at a meeting of Full Council on 22 February.
The council’s minimum pay of £10 per hour is higher than the Real Living Wage of £8.75 per hour that is set by the Living Wage Foundation, which accredited the council as a Living Wage employer in 2014.
Cllr Richard Robertson, Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources, said: “The distribution of income in Cambridge is more unequal than that of any other city in the UK.
“High housing costs make Cambridge a very expensive area to live in, especially for those on low incomes.
“That is why we have been supporting employers in Cambridge to sign up to the Real Living Wage, as part of the Anti-poverty Strategies we have adopted since 2015.
“In deciding to pay our staff a minimum of £10 per hour, we want to set an example for other employers in and around Cambridge, encouraging those that can afford to do so to pay more than the Real Living Wage, which we feel should just be a minimum rate employers should pay.
“In paying more than £8.75 per hour, employers will go further in tackling income inequality in the city and raising living standards for people on the lowest incomes.”
The council has paid the Real Living Wage since 2013 and has been encouraging and supporting employers to pay the Real Living Wage, and to become Living Wage accredited, since 2015. This work is a part of the council’s Anti-poverty Strategy to ensure people in Cambridge earn enough to live on.
The Real Living Wage calculations are based on rigorous academic research on the amount people need to meet living costs. It is recalculated in November each year.
The Real Living Wage is higher than the government’s compulsory national living wage that from 1 April 2018 will be £7.83 for over 25 year-olds and is based on a percentage of median income – currently at 55% but later to rise to 60%.
The Real Living Wage UK rate is £8.75 per hour (and £10.20 in London) for those aged 18 and over.