A SERVICED apartments company has become the latest Cambridge-based company to be accredited as a Living Wage employer, after receiving support with the process from Cambridge City Council.
Signet Apartments signed up to the Real Living Wage this month after speaking to the council about it at an event hosted by Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce.
The council then helped Signet Apartments with queries about the firm’s application for accreditation from the Living Wage Foundation, which indicates they have now committed to paying all their staff at least the Living Wage – currently £8.75 per hour outside London.
Employers choose to pay the Living Wage on a voluntary basis and can then be accredited by the Living Wage Foundation. The nationwide Living Wage campaign has been promoted in the city by Cambridge City Council since 2015, as part of its Anti-Poverty Strategy.
There are now 66 employers signed up for Living Wage accreditation in Cambridge – 43 locally-based employers and 23 national employers with branches or offices in Cambridge.
As well as benefits for employees, there are also a number of business benefits to Living Wage accreditation. These include enhanced reputation as a fair employer, increased productivity, and improvements to staff retention that leads to reduced recruitment and training costs.
The council is holding an awareness raising event for local businesses in November about how they can help tackle poverty in Cambridge through initiatives such as the Living Wage.
The event will feature presentations from the Living Wage Foundation, Child Poverty Action and Cambridge Council for Voluntary Service and will be chaired by Cllr Lewis Herbert, Leader of Cambridge City Council. It takes place during this year’s Living Wage Week on Thursday 8 November from 5pm-7.30pm at Westminster College, Madingley Road.
This event is free, but places should be reserved in advance at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/how-can-your-business-help-people-living-in-poverty-in-cambridge-tickets-50441525962 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Cllr Herbert said: “Cambridge has been identified as the UK city with the biggest gap between high and low pay, so it is great news that Signet Apartments have pledged to join the growing list of companies paying the Real Living Wage, which is the minimum people need to meet housing costs and live locally.
“Paying a proper Living Wage isn’t just beneficial to employees who may be struggling with the high cost of living in Cambridge – it also benefits the employers themselves, as the evidence suggests it radically improves staff motivation and retention – big issues in our city where there are often more vacancies than applicants.”
“It’s a straightforward process to become a Living Wage employer, and the council is here to help companies and organisations through every stage of their journey towards accreditation.”
Anton Creasy, Managing Director at Signet Apartments, said: “Signet have been happy to adjust salaries in line with Living Wage levels, particularly as we understand city living is not cheap. We pay all our staff more than the Living Wage rate of £8.75 per hour.
“Aside from doing the right thing by our staff we now have a happy and contented workforce ever more willing to go the extra mile. It achieves that rare business objective where everyone wins.”