A LOCAL cookery school, bakery and café has become the latest Cambridge-based company to be accredited as a Real Living Wage employer.
Cambridge Cookery signed up to the Real Living Wage this month after hearing about it through its links to Cambridge Sustainable Food, a voluntary group which works in partnership with Cambridge City Council to promote sustainable food in the city.
Cambridge Cookery’s accreditation from the Living Wage Foundation means they have now publicly pledged to pay all their staff at least the Real Living Wage rate. The new rate for 2018-19 was announced recently as £9 per hour (outside London).
Employers choose to pay the Real Living Wage on a voluntary basis and can then be accredited by the Living Wage Foundation. The nationwide campaign has been promoted in the city by the council since 2015, as part of its Anti-Poverty Strategy.
As well as promoting the Real Living Wage to Cambridge employers, and being an accredited employer itself, the council pays its own staff a minimum of £10 per hour.
There are now 66 employers signed up for Living Wage accreditation in Cambridge – 42 locally-based employers and 24 national employers with branches or offices in Cambridge.
Besides the financial benefits for employees, employers benefit by becoming accredited in a number of ways, including through improvements to staff retention that leads to reduced recruitment and training costs, and an enhanced reputation for the organisation.
Cllr Anna Smith, Executive Councillor for Communities, said: “I am very pleased to hear that Cambridge Cookery has joined the growing number of employers in Cambridge who have pledged to pay their staff at least the Real Living Wage rate.
“I’m especially delighted that here in Cambridge we have several food businesses, like Cambridge Cookery, who have made a commitment to become accredited. Nationally, many staff in the food industry are paid below Real Living Wage rates, so it’s fantastic to see many Cambridge businesses leading the way in paying a fair wage.
“I’d love to see all Cambridge businesses get Real Living Wage accreditation. Signing up to The Living Wage Foundation’s campaign is straightforward, and the council can help applicants through every step of the process. It’s a great way for employers to show their commitment to staff, and is especially important in tackling income inequality a city like Cambridge, which is such an expensive place to live.”
Tine Roche, Managing Director of Cambridge Cookery, said: “Being a Living Wage employer was a given, and we have been since our start in 2008, we just did not get around to making it official!
“As a high quality, sustainable and ethical independent business we stand and fall with our team. Without their full engagement with what we stand for it would never work.
“By offering training and new skills, attractive hours and Real Living Wage we are rewarded with a happy and engaged team who offer the quality we need both front of house and behind the scenes in the kitchen.”