Mansfield District Council has set out it’s aspiration to become a Living Wage Employer after members at a meeting of the Full Council on agreed on a motion to support the campaign.
It is hoped the move will set an example and encourage other employers within the District to do the same.
The Living Wage was established by Citizens UK in 2001 and calls for every worker in the country to earn enough to provide for his or her family with the essentials of life.
The National Living Wage for outside of London is currently £7.20 per hour. The figure is set annually by the Centre for Research in Social Policy at Loughborough University.
As part of the District Council’s contribution to the Nottinghamshire Child Poverty Strategy 2011, it has supported the aspiration to adopt a policy of paying at least the Living Wage to all its employees as soon as possible.
The Council will then seek accreditation as a Living Wage Employer from the Living Wage Foundation in order to encourage other employers within the District to do the same.
An independent study of the business benefits of implementing a Living Wage policy in London found that more than 80 per cent of employers believe that the Living Wage had enhanced the quality of the work of their staff, while absenteeism had fallen by approximately 25 per cent.
Two thirds of employers reported a significant impact on recruitment and retention within their organisation. Seventy per cent of employers felt that the Living Wage had increased consumer awareness of their organisation’s commitment to be an ethical employer.
The motion was put forward by Coun Joyce Bosnjak, who said: “I believe that all members of our community have the right to earn a Living Wage, allowing them to provide housing, food and other basic needs for themselves and their families.
“Recent figures have suggested that over 20% of Mansfield children are living in poverty and it is acknowledged that the best way of lifting them out of poverty is by paying a decent living wage.
“I am pleased this has been supported by Mansfield District Councillors and I hope that other employers across the District will also look to adopt the Living Wage.”
Executive Mayor Tony Egginton added: “Mansfield District Council is fully committed to the Child Poverty Strategy and has already taken significant steps to help move our poorest families out of poverty. I am therefore pleased the Council has supported the Living Wage motion and has come together to help improve the standard of living for people who live and work within our District.
“The Council is already working with the staff and unions towards implementing a new pay and grading system. If the new pay and grading system is adopted we will achieve the Living Wage for our employees.”