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Living Wage Case Study – Voluntary Centre Services

Posted on 19th October, 2016 by Lincoln Against Poverty

Voluntary Centre Services supports volunteers and voluntary and community organisations across West Lincolnshire.

As well as operating accredited Volunteer Centres in Lincoln, Gainsborough and Sleaford that deal with over 2,000 volunteer enquiries each year, VCS offers help to anyone wishing to set up a group, wanting funding advice, or wanting access to news and networks in the voluntary and community sectors.

They also deliver a programme of volunteer management training which is available for anyone who finds themselves with responsibility for volunteers.

VCS Chief Executive Ben Barley believes paying the Living Wage increases staff loyalty and productivity, and is important to show potential funders that an organisation values its workforce.

He said: It reflects the value of the staff and what they contribute to the organisation. That’s the main thing, and we’ve found it works really well for staff retention. It’s very rare we have staff members leave and, when they do, they move onto a higher role somewhere else. We don’t have much of a staff turnover, which is really positive.

“On the whole sickness levels are relatively low and, whenever we do recruit, we generally have good applicants. It means when we’re recruiting we don’t have to pay for expensive adverts.

“I’d like to think paying the Living Wage has a positive effect on staff morale and staff work harder as a result. All our staff work very hard and, we believe, feel they’re valued in the wage they’re paid.

“We see our staff show a real commitment to the organisation – that shows in what they give in terms of productivity, which in turn contributes to what we can deliver as an organisation.”

VCS joined the Living Wage Register in 2015, having always paid the Living Wage to its dozen staff based in Lincoln, Gainsborough and Sleaford.

Ben said: “It’s mainly about valuing your staff, showing them you value the work they’re doing and what they contribute to the organisation. For us, it also shows to organisations who might want to work with us, or fund the work we do, that we’re paying a fair wage.

“If more organisations signed up it would give a positive perception of the businesses within Lincoln, showing that people can come and work in the city and earn a decent wage without having to move out of the area to find higher paid employment.”

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