In the last month three more Cambridge employers have become accredited with the Living Wage Foundation – Girton College, Cambridge Healthcare Research and Zero Waste Path Shop.
These employers – two of whom received information and advice on their accreditation from Cambridge City Council – have now committed to paying their own staff and contracted staff a minimum of £9.30 per hour.
This is higher than the Government’s national living wage for 25 year-olds and over of £8.21 per hour. In total 34 staff members at the three employers received an uplift in wages at the time of accreditation.
The ‘Real Living Wage’ is calculated independently every year to reflect the real cost of living and is £9.30 per hour across the UK and £10.75 in London.
The council has been raising awareness and offering advice about the benefits of the Real Living Wage for several years and is an accredited employer itself. More than 75 employers in Cambridge are now accredited with the Living Wage Foundation.
The council was invited to give a presentation about the practicalities of Living Wage accreditation at Girton College earlier in the year before the College became accredited itself.
Girton College was founded in 1869 as the UK's first residential institution offering degree level instruction and examinations to women. It was also the first of the Oxbridge Women’s Colleges to go mixed and has played a lead role in widening participation since.
Girton College is one of the two constituent colleges of the University of Cambridge that have Living Wage accreditation (the other one is Queen’s College) out of 31 constituent colleges in total. The University-affiliated Westminster College, which is a theological college of the United Reformed Church, is also accredited.
Cambridge Healthcare Research (CHR) is a consultancy that provides strategic support to biopharmaceutical, medical device and NGO clients. Matteo Perucchini, Partner, Cambridge Healthcare Research, said: “We were inspired by the presentations we heard at the council’s event during Living Wage Week in November to apply for the Living Wage Employer accreditation.
“At CHR we are already committed to ensuring that all our employees receive a fair and competitive reward package, but are delighted to be able to add our name to the increasing number of businesses across the country who support this campaign, and to help increase awareness of this important topic.”
Zero Waste Path Shop is a small UK-based company of artisanal, vegan, zero waste and palm oil free cosmetic products, handmade in Cambridge using renewable energy. Bianca Mularoni, Co-Founder of Zero Waste Path Shop, said: “As a sustainable business we believe in ethical working conditions, therefore when we hired our first employee it was essential for us to pay a Living Wage.
“We decided to get accredited because we want to support the amazing work the Living Wage Foundation does in raising awareness about fair pay across the UK.”
Councillor Anna Smith, Executive Councillor for Communities, said: “Congratulations to the three employers that have most recently become Living Wage accredited, and committed to paying their staff a rate of pay independently calculated to reflect living costs. This is a great end to 2019 for their employees and we hope that more employers have Living Wage accreditation as their New Year’s resolution for 2020. These three employers in very different sectors and of different sizes have demonstrated a shared commitment to fair pay.
“If you are an employer considering Living Wage accreditation please get in touch with the council and we can help you to identify all the benefits accreditation may have for you and answer any questions you have on the accreditation process. After Cambridge University’s commitment to become accredited and Girton College’s accreditation, in 2020 we hope to work with more Cambridge University colleges on their accreditations.”
Any employer interested in becoming accredited as a Real Living Wage employer should contact Helen Crowther, the council’s Equality and Anti-Poverty Officer, on 01223 457046.