Living wage is set for final approval

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The lowest paid staff at Derbyshire County Council will have their wages increased if proposals are agreed at a cabinet meeting next week.

More than 3,000 employees, including cleaners, school catering assistants and school crossing patrol staff will their hourly rate increased to £7.65 an hour from 1st April.

Derbyshire County Council Leader Anne Western said: “Many hard working employees are struggling to make ends meet because of spiralling food, fuel and energy prices.

“Putting more money in people’s pockets will mean a boost for the local economy as most of our staff live locally.

“Even though we have to make massive savings over the coming years it is only right that we pay our lowest paid employees enough to provide a decent standard of living for their families.

“Paying the living wage means we will take many hard working families out of poverty and low pay. It is the decent and right thing to do.”

The living wage is an hourly rate set independently and updated annually and is calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK.

Mick Wilson, Unison service conditions lead negotiator, said: “For the lowest paid this will help towards dealing with the cost of living crisis where costs of daily living are going up but wages are not.”

A recent study employers as well as employees benefited after implementing the living wage, with improved recruitment and retention, higher worker morale and productivity.