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Living Wage campaign under way

Posted on 24th February, 2015 by Lincoln Against Poverty

A new campaign has been launched encouraging business in the city to pay the Living Wage.

Councillor Ric Metcalfe, Leader of City of Lincoln Council, unveiled the project at today’s Lincoln Against Poverty Conference.

Different to the National Minimum Wage set by HMRC, the standard is an hourly rate set independently and updated annually. It is calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK, currently £7.85 an hour outside London.

A Lincoln Living Wage Forum is already under way and the campaign aims to show the benefits to not only the employee but the employer.

Businesses that join the campaign will be able to use a ‘Making Lincoln Living Wage’ accreditation logo. The image features three stars to show they are a living wage employer, they use living wage suppliers or they employ staff responsibly. It’s not a condition that organisations have to meet all three criteria to be involved.

Cllr Metcalfe said: “Poverty is usually associated with a lack of employment, however the majority of households in poverty have one member in work.

“Unemployment levels have fallen lately but there are still significant problems of under-employment, low pay and insecure conditions, including zero hours contracts.

“The Living Wage benefits the wider economy, is good for business and saves the public purse money as low pay is heavily subsidised by the state through the tax credit and benefit system at significant cost.

“There are knock on effects of low income on people’s health and educational attainment, leading to the need for much more costly interventions later.

“The Living Wage pays a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work. No one who has gone out to work should then still have the worry about paying the bills, putting food on their table or saving money for when emergencies, like the washing machine breaking down, crop up.

“Not only does the Living Wage benefit the employee, there are huge rewards for the employer. Research has shown it leads to a more enhanced quality of work, reduces absenteeism and has a positive impact on recruitment and retention.

All delegates at Lincoln Against Poverty were asked to complete a survey about the Living Wage.

For more information on the scheme, please call 01522 873325.