Milton Keynes Council is accredited as a Living Wage employer

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Milton Keynes Council has now received officially accreditation as a Living Wage Employer.

The Council has been paying its own staff the Living Wage since April this year, but this week received the accreditation from the Living Wage Foundation.

Now staff and employees of contractors who fit the Living Wage Foundation criteria will receive a minimum hourly wage of £8.25 - compared to the national minimum wage of £6.70 – by 1 April 2016.

The Living Wage is an hourly rate set independently and updated annually. It is calculated according to the basic cost of living using the ‘Minimum Income Standard’ for the UK.

Milton Keynes Council Leader Pete Marland said: “At the council we strive for a fair and equitable approach to paying our employees – and ensuring where we can that our contractors do the same – so we are really pleased to have received the official ‘stamp of approval’ from the Living Wage Foundation.”

Employers choose to pay the Living Wage on a voluntary basis.

The Living Wage has cross-party support, with public backing from the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition. The situation is reflected in Milton Keynes, with opposition party leaders Cllr Edith Bald (Conservative) and Douglas McCall (Liberal Democrats) backing Cllr Marland (Labour).

Living Wage Foundation Director, Sarah Vero said: “We are delighted to welcome Milton Keynes Council to the Living Wage movement as an accredited employer. This is a huge commitment to tackling the challenge of in-work poverty, particularly in challenging sectors such as social care.

“The best employers are voluntarily signing up to pay the Living Wage now. We hope that the leadership shown by the council will encourage other businesses in Milton Keynes to review their own pay and reward packages, and consider how they too could become Living Wage employers. The Living Wage is a robust calculation that reflects the real cost of living, rewarding a hard day’s work with a fair day’s pay.