Council to pay living wage by start of April

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Some Kirklees Council workers are in for a pay rise in less than two months.

The next steps have been taken in the council’s campaign to pay its staff the living wage.

The current rate stands at £7.85 per hour outside of London and is based on an estimate of the costs of a socially acceptable minimum standard of living for a range of household types. The current statutory minimum wage is £6.50 per hour.

The latest figures available show that 115 local authorities have now implemented the living wage, with a further 13 councils having made a firm commitment to implement it by a specific date.

Regionally, Barnsley, Calderdale, Doncaster, North East Lincolnshire, Rotherham, Scarborough, Sheffield, Wakefield and York pay a living wage.

A £1.1m fund has been set aside in the 2015/16 budget for Kirklees to pay the living wage from April 1 this year.

Kirklees Council papers say a living wage increases staff productivity and lowers staff absences by 25 per cent.

In addition, Kirklees say their adopting of the policy will put them in a strong position to lobby other local organisations to adopt the living wage.

Meanwhile, Yorkshire Ambulance Service has announced it will pay the living wage from April. It means 109 employees within the service will get a pay rise.