Salford Social Enterprise Unlimited Potential Wins Living Wage Champion Award for Industry Leadership

A Salford social enterprise has today been announced as a winner in the Living Wage Champion Awards 2018 – and now aims to drive the city to become the country’s first fully Living Wage health and social care system by 2021.

Unlimited Potential, whose work supports people to lead happier and healthier lives, won the Industry Leadership award thanks to its dedication to promoting the real Living Wage through Salford’s Health and Wellbeing Board.

Through Unlimited Potential’s leadership, the Board agreed to establish a multi-sectoral Living Wage task group, chaired by Unlimited Potential’s chief executive, Chris Dabbs.

It has so far successfully supported the accreditation of 11 major Salford health and care organisations as Living Wage employers.

Chris said: “We’re delighted that once again the city of Salford is being recognised for its commitment to the real Living Wage. The accreditation of the 11 organisations is just another step to our city becoming the country’s first fully Living Wage health and social care system by 2021.

“The award is a testament to all of the organisations that have contributed to the progress made on the real Living Wage in Salford. Unlimited Potential will continue to champion the need for all health and social care workplaces to implement the real Living Wage.”

Laurence Patrick, Finance Support Officer at NHS Salford Clinical Commissioning Group said “Being paid the real Living Wage not only makes me feel like a valued member of my team but my dedication and hard work is paying off. Having the capacity to be able to save money now for when I return to my final year at university will really take off some financial pressure without having a part-time job and allow me to concentrate on my studies fully.”

The awards, which were sponsored by Aviva, KPMG and the City of London Corporation, saw two other winners of the Industry Leadership Award, including Penrose Care and The Haven Wolverhampton.

Tess Lanning, director of the Living Wage Foundation, said: “Congratulations to Unlimited Potential on becoming a Living Wage Champion award winner. It’s an organisation that does vital work every day, but by paying the real Living Wage, and promoting its wider take-up, it is also leading the way in placing dignity and respect at the heart of its organisation and the wider system in which it works.

“Over 4,200 employers have now signed up to the movement, and their leadership is making a profound difference to the lives of families and communities across the UK. Unlimited Potential’s work in celebrating and championing the real Living Wage has been vital to its success.”

The real Living Wage is an hourly pay rate set independently, updated annually, and calculated according to the basic cost of living. Employers choose to pay the real Living Wage on a voluntary basis.

The awards were judged by an independent panel of business and community leaders.

John Hood – Media Manager:

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About the real Living Wage

The real Living Wage is the only rate calculated according to what people need to make ends meet. It provides a voluntary benchmark for employers that choose to take a stand by ensuring their staff earn a wage that meets the costs and pressures they face in their everyday lives.

The UK Living Wage is currently £8.75 per hour. There is a separate London Living Wage rate of £10.20 per hour to reflect the higher costs of transport, childcare and housing in the capital. These figures are calculated annually by the Resolution Foundation and overseen by the Living Wage Commission, based on the best available evidence on living standards in London and the UK.

The Living Wage Foundation is the organisation at the heart of the movement of businesses, organisations and individuals who campaign for the simple idea that a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay. We recognise and celebrate the leadership shown by responsible employers who voluntarily choose to go further and pay a real Living Wage based on the cost of living, not just the government minimum. There are currently over 4,200 accredited employers.

What’s the difference between the real Living Wage and the Government’s national living wage?

In April 2016 the government introduced a higher minimum wage rate for all staff over 25 years of age inspired by the Living Wage campaign – even calling it the ‘national living wage’.

However, the government’s ‘national living wage’ is not calculated according to what employees and their families need to live. Instead, it is based on a target to reach 60% of median earnings by 2020. Under current forecasts this means a rise to less than £9 per hour by 2020. For under 25s, the minimum wage rates also take into account affordability for employers.

The real Living Wage rates are higher because they are independently-calculated based on what people need to get by. That’s why the Living Wage Foundation encourages all employers that can afford to do so to ensure their employees earn a wage that meets the costs of living, not just the government minimum.

About Unlimited Potential

Unlimited Potential is a social enterprise that is based in Salford, Greater Manchester. It specialises in social innovation for happiness and health, by working together with local people and communities to create new solutions to social and economic challenges.

The judges for the 2018 Living Wage Champion Awards were:

  • Dr Kaneez Shaid MBE, Campaigner and Chair of the Citizens UK Board of Trustees
  • Rosie Gillham, Living Wage employee and campaigner
  • Yvonne Roberts, freelance journalist, writer and broadcaster, The Observer
  • Jane Gratton, Head of Business Environment and Skills Policy at British Chambers of Commerce
  • Matt Sparkes, Head of Corporate Responsibility, Linklaters LLP
  • Tess Lanning, Director of the Living Wage Foundation