FOLLOWING the announcement today (22 September) by the Living Wage Foundation of the new rate of the real Living Wage (of £10.90/hour), Cambridge City Council has confirmed its ongoing commitment as a Living Wage Employer, with employees who earn the living wage set to receive the uplift in their October pay check.
The real Living Wage is an hourly rate, set independently, and calculated according to the basic cost of living. Organisations that pay the real Living Wage can choose to become accredited with the Living Wage Foundation to demonstrate their commitment to fair pay. The council has been an accredited real Living Wage employer since 2014.
The hourly rate is updated annually, with an announcement usually made in November each year to give accredited real Living Wage employers until May the following year to implement the updated rate in employees’ pay. The announcement has been brought forward this year in response to the cost of living crisis and, although accredited employers will still have until May to implement the new rates, the Living Wage Foundation is urging those who can to update employees’ pay as soon as possible.
Cllr Alice Gilderdale, Executive Councillor for Recovery, Employment and Community Safety at Cambridge City Council, said: "We welcome today's announcement of the new hourly rate of £10.90 and support the early implementation. Council employees who earn the living wage will start to receive the uplift from October, which I hope will go some way to supporting people with the crisis we’re seeing with people’s living costs."
The council also works in partnership with the Living Wage Foundation and other partners across Cambridge to encourage businesses in the city to become accredited. Ahead of Living Wage Week in November, the council and partners are planning a schedule of events to raise awareness of the real Living Wage; to support businesses of all sizes to better understand the benefits of accreditation as Living Wage Employers; and to promote the real Living Wage to employees in the city.
Cllr Gilderdale continued: “In addition to being an accredited real Living Wage employer since 2014, we have also been working for a number of years to raise awareness of the benefits of the real Living Wage, partnering with other local organisations to encourage more businesses in the city to become accredited. We know that businesses are not immune to current financial pressures, and yet from a recent survey of Cambridge accredited employers, we were delighted to see that two thirds of respondents were already preparing to implement the new real Living Wage soon after the announcement.
“With so many households struggling with rising costs at the moment, paying a real Living Wage is one way for businesses to support their staff this winter and commit to fair pay going forwards. We are always happy to chat to any local businesses who would like to find out more about paying the real Living Wage, the benefits there are for businesses as well as employees, and how to become accredited. Contact our team, or the Living Wage Foundation, to find out more.”
For more information about the Real Living Wage, including a full list of Living Wage employers based in Cambridge, visit our Living Wage webpage.
The Living Wage Foundation is holding a special webinar on Thursday 29 September to explain how the rate is calculated; to let businesses know how they can access support from the Living Wage Foundation team; and to provide an opportunity to ask questions.