The West of England Combined Authority (WECA) has been accredited as a Living Wage Employer.
Living Wage accreditation means that everyone working at the combined authority receives a minimum hourly wage of £9.50 – significantly higher than the government minimum for over 25s, currently £8.72 per hour.
It also means that anyone who provides services to, or has contracts with WECA, must pay the Living Wage, setting the bar for good employer practices in the region. This includes those who provide services to WECA, such cleaning and facilities management contracts, as well as those who have contracts with the combined authority – such as ICT providers.
Tim Bowles, West of England Mayor said: “The Living Wage is a brilliant initiative which rightly highlights the importance of fair wages and good jobs. The Combined Authority is leading by example, and setting the bar for the good employment practices we want to see across the region as we emerge from the pandemic and build back better in the West of England.”
Patricia Greer, Chief Executive of the West of England Combined Authority, said: “We’re proud to have been accredited as a Living Wage employer. This recognises our commitment to ensuring that anyone who works in or with WECA, including those employed by our contractors, is paid a fair wage which reflects the cost of living.”
Laura Gardiner, Director, Living Wage Foundation said: “Recent Living Wage Foundation polling found that the Covid-19 pandemic has meant that almost 30% of workers have fallen behind in their household bills in the past year, while over a quarter said they had had to skip meals to make ends meet. WECA’s commitment will mean that staff at WECA and the organisations it has contracts with are given a wage rate that they need to live, as we navigate our way out of this pandemic.”
“WECA joins thousands of small businesses, as well as household names such as Burberry, Barclays, Tate and Lyle Sugars, Everton Football Club and many more. These businesses recognise that paying the real Living Wage is the mark of a responsible employer and they, like WECA, believe that a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay.”
The real Living Wage is the only rate calculated according to the costs of living. It provides a voluntary benchmark for employers that wish to ensure their staff earn a wage they can live on, not just the government minimum. Since 2011 the Living Wage movement has delivered a pay rise to over 250,000 people and put over £1.3 billion extra into the pockets of low paid workers.