What is the real Living Wage?

The real Living Wage is an hourly rate set independently and updated annually. It is calculated by the Resolution Foundation and overseen by the Living Wage Commission, based on the best available evidence about living standards. It is based on detailed research of what households need in order to have a minimum acceptable standard of living. The real Living Wage is set annually by the Living Wage Foundation and is announced during Living Wage Week each November, for implementation within six months. The real Living Wage is distinct from the so-called ‘national living wage’ for all workers aged over 25, which was introduced by the Government in April 2016. Employers choose to pay the real Living Wage on a voluntary basis and can become accredited by the Living Wage Foundation.

Why pay the real Living Wage?

In Salford, we think that paying the real Living Wage is good for society. People should be paid fairly for the work that they do, and be paid a wage on which they can live reasonably. We also think that paying the real Living Wage is good for business. Across all the available evidence, three main areas in which paying the real Living Wage can have a significant beneficial impact are evident: productivity; ease of recruitment; and staff retention.

The real Living Wage in Salford

Salford has been working together to spread the real Living Wage since 2014. As part of its effort to tackle poverty in the City, Salford is committed to champion the wider adoption of the real Living Wage. Salix Homes became the first accredited Living Wage Employer in Greater Manchester in June 2012. Salford City Council became the first Living Wage accredited local authority in Greater Manchester in 2013. Salford CVS is also a Living Wage Funder. It is committed to tackle low pay by encouraging the organisations it supports to pay staff the real Living Wage.

The number of accredited Living Wage employers has steadily increased across the public, private and voluntary sectors. In February 2020, there were 42 accredited Living Wage employers whose main base was within the City of Salford, and at least another 13 with branches or operations in Salford. These include many of the major employers in the public, private and voluntary sectors.

Salford – the first city in England recognised for its Living Wage ambition!

Salford is the first place in England to get formal recognition for its ambition to become a Living Wage City. The Living Wage Foundation recognised our city under its Living Wage Places scheme on 11 November, 2019. The aim is to work together to tackle low pay within localities by expanding Living Wage employer accreditation. This work is being driven by our Salford Living Wage City action group, which includes both Living Wage employers and community champions.

Building on Salford’s 10% Better campaign, our main targets are:

  • increase the number of accredited Living Wage employers whose main base is within the City of Salford from 38 in 2019 to 76 by the end of 2022
  • lift above the real Living Wage people employed or contracted by accredited Living Wage employers whose main base is within the City of Salford from 1,744 in 2019 to 2,800 by the end of 2022
  • increase the proportion of jobs in Salford employed by accredited Living Wage employers whose main base is within the City of Salford from 7.0% (9,433) in 2019 to 15.0% (19,800) by the end of 2022
  • increase the proportion of Salford residents paid the real Living Wage or above from 59.1% in 2019 to 65.0% by the end of 2022

Salford is the fastest growing economy in Greater Manchester and has seen more than £2.6 billion worth of private sector investment in the last three years and an 11% rise in employment, compared to 7.7% nationally. Becoming a Living Wage city is all about making sure everyone benefits from Salford’s phenomenal growth.

A task force from local businesses and the public, voluntary, community and social enterprise sectors has been formed to drive the project forward. The task force will work with 30 anchor employers over the next three years as well as the traditionally low paid health, social care, retail and hospitality sectors to encourage more employers to pay the real Living Wage.

If you want to support the campaign please contact alison.burnett@salford.gov.uk

Read a case study too about the difference paying the Living Wage has made to local employer Anchor Removals.

     

Become a Living Wage Employer from Living Wage Foundation on Vimeo.