Belfast City Council has received living wage accreditation from the Living Wage Foundation.
In order to receive accreditation, the council increased its pay rate for employees to a minimum of £10.90 per hour as set by the foundation, and also ensured that any of its regularly contracted staff were also paid this rate.
It also committed, through its social value procurement policy, to set a timeline by which all of its third party contractors must pay their employees the real living wage. This is part of its inclusive growth ambitions, which were included in the Belfast Agenda, the city’s community plan.
According to the council, given that it works with multiple contractors to deliver major investment projects across the city, this policy will have a substantial impact and bring positive benefits for the city’s workforce.
Councillor Mal O’Hara, chair of Belfast City Council’s Social Policy Working Group, said: “The council has long been committed to becoming a living wage employer, so this accreditation marks an important milestone in that journey.
“The accreditation comes at a time when we are all feeling the impact of rising energy bills and the cost of living, so this issue has never been more important. It demonstrates our commitment to showing civic leadership on this issue, and I hope it sends a signal to other employers and organisations and encourages them to adopt a similar approach.”
Katherine Chapman, director of the Living Wage Foundation, added: “We’re delighted that Belfast City Council has joined the movement of nearly 12,000 responsible employers across the UK who voluntarily commit to go further than the government minimum to make sure all their staff earn enough to live on. These organisations recognise that paying the real living wage is the mark of a responsible employer and they, like Belfast City Council, believe that a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay.”