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Home   News   North Ayrshire Council to pay new Living Wage rate early

North Ayrshire Council to pay new Living Wage rate early

Posted on 5 Nov 2018

North Ayrshire Council has committed to paying its staff the new Living Wage five months early.

Today – to mark the start of Living Wage Week – the new rate of £9.00 per hour was announced, a rise of 25p per hour on the current rate of £8.75.

And although the new Living Wage rate is not due to be adopted by businesses and organisations until April 2019, the Council has committed to applying this rate of pay from today (5 November, 2018).

The Leader of North Ayrshire Council, Joe Cullinane, said: “If we want to reduce inequality and poverty across North Ayrshire, then we have to lead by example.

“Earning the real Living Wage can make a huge difference to people’s lives.

“Not only is paying employees a wage that supports a decent standard of living an ethical and responsible thing to do, but there are also clear business and economic benefits in doing so.

“As the largest single employer in North Ayrshire, we’re proud to show support for our lowest-paid workers by committing to paying the real Living Wage.

“The fact that we are introducing the new rate immediately – rather than waiting until next April – shows our determination to support our staff as well as tackle inequalities and poverty within our communities.”

The Council has paid the Living Wage since 2011 and is one of a number of local authorities from across Scotland to be officially accredited by the Scottish Living Wage Accreditation Initiative.

The Living Wage is an independently-calculated figure which is updated annually to reflect the basic cost of living in the UK is voluntarily paid by over 4,400 UK businesses who believe their staff deserve a fair day's pay for a hard day's work.

According to the Living Wage Foundation, independent research on employers who have introduced the Living Wage has shown: 

  • Increases in employee productivity.
  • Greater staff retention and reduced sickness absence.
  • Improved levels of morale, motivation and commitment.

Councillor Cullinane has also called on other businesses to follow North Ayrshire Council’s lead and pay the Real Living Wage.

He said: “Paying the Real Living Wage shows employees that the company values their work by giving them a fair’s day’s pay for a hard day’s work.

“If we all pay a fair and reasonable wage, we can begin to make a real change to people’s lives, so I hope that becoming a Real Living Wage employer becomes the norm rather than the exception.”