Plan to launch real Living Wage campaign

Monday, 3 February 2020

We're proposing to launch a real Living Wage campaign to help maximise the earning potential of people living and working in the Borough of Scarborough.

The proposed campaign aims to contribute to the inclusive growth strategy outlined in our new Building a Better Borough programme and if adopted, would see a collaborative approach with local businesses to stimulate wealth generation in the area.

In a report to our Cabinet, due for decision on Monday 11 February, it is recommended that we lead the way by applying to the Living Wage Foundation for accreditation as a Living Wage employer. We have been paying its staff in line with the foundation’s recommendations for the last few years and would seek to have that recognised by the accreditation. Accreditation would require us to implement the increased real Living Wage rate each year for the lowest pay levels, which is currently set at £9.30 per hour. We would also encourage all our contractors and subcontractors to pay their staff in line with the Living Wage recommendations.

The Borough of Scarborough currently has the highest number of jobs paid below the Living Wage in the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding region. Through the campaign, we want to work with local employers to change that statistic, support residents out of poverty, reduce their dependence on in work benefits and give them a feeling of pride and respect for the work they do and their employer. Given that a high proportion of people working in the borough are also residents that spend their money locally, paying more people a real Living Wage would have a positive knock on effect on the local economy.

The campaign would encourage as many local organisations as possible to become a Living Wage employer, with the council leading by example. Organisations that pay their staff a real Living Wage report benefiting from improved employee retention, increased staff morale, reduction in employee sick time, greater customer satisfaction, improved productivity and a better reputation.

If Cabinet approves the report, an appropriate organisation will be identified to head up the campaign and a detailed campaign plan will be prepared for a future Cabinet meeting, which will include our Economic Development team identifying the organisations that are already paying a real Living Wage and working with those that aren’t, to tackle the barriers they may be experiencing and encourage them to take the necessary steps to becoming, where financially possible, Living Wage employers.

Cllr Liz Colling, Scarborough Borough Council Cabinet Member for Economy, Communities and Commercial said:

"We're committed to leading the way in promoting the benefits of the real Living Wage for employees and their employers. By taking a collaborative approach and working together with local organisations to increase the wages of our lowest earners, we will start to make a real difference to their lives and generate economic benefits for our borough's communities."