East Ayrshire Council celebrates Living Wage Week

East Ayrshire Council is helping to celebrate Living Wage Week after being accredited as a Living Wage Employer earlier this year to ensure that people are paid fairly for the work they do.

Back in April, the Council welcomed the news that it had achieved accredited living wage status after undergoing a rigorous application process. As a result of this, 350 of our third-party contracted employees will receive a real Living Wage which is independently calculated each year and based on the cost of living. The government’s national living wage is the legal minimum and is based on a percentage of median earnings, rather than living costs.

For full time workers aged over 25, the real Living Wage means an extra £1,500 per year in wages compared to the government’s national living wage. The difference between minimum wage rates and the real Living Wage is even more marked for younger workers, where legal minimum hourly rates are lower.

Councillor Douglas Reid, Leader of the Council said: “The Council wholly supports the real Living Wage which, unlike the national Living Wage, is based upon living costs including housing, food, childcare, transport and essential items of clothing, like winter coats for children. It’s also even more important during this pandemic that we provide employees and their families with some much-needed stability and security.

“We were in the final stages of the licence application just as lockdown was announced earlier this year. Although this certainly made the process more challenging, it did not deter us from carrying on the hard work and commitment needed to achieve accredited Living Wage status, something that is an important part of our vision for East Ayrshire and our local workforce. We are proud to be accredited Living Wage employers more so than ever right now.”