Cumbria Deaf Association gains living wage accreditation

Cumbria Deaf Association has committed to paying its staff the living wage rate in order to reflect the current financial climate, gaining accreditation as a living wage employer.

According to the charity, this will directly affect four of its eight employees. It has introduced the higher rate in part because it found that staff turnover was ultimately more costly than investing in paying employees more.

As part of its commitment to the accreditation, Cumbria Deaf Association has also pledged to take pay into account with any businesses it trades with, giving preference to those that also align with the living wage.

The rate is set by the Living Wage Foundation and currently stands at £9.90 per hour across the UK and £11.05 in London. For comparison, the government’s living wage stands at £9.50 per hour for workers aged 23 and over, and £9.18 for those above the age of 21.

Caroline Howsley, general manager of Cumbria Deaf Association, said: “By registering to be a living wage employer it seals our commitment to ensure that our organisation is supporting the employees in line with the financial climate. However, it not only benefits our own employees, but those of any business we seek to trade with because we will ask if they are an accredited living wage employer, with preference being given to them in any tender process.

“Some [businesses] meet the living wage, but to make the commitment to become an accredited living wage employer might be seen as something that is too difficult to maintain in these unsettled times. The living wage accreditation is in conjunction with our local purchasing policy where we focus on buying from within Cumbria, which supports the local economy and communities.”

Katherine Chapman, director of the Living Wage Foundation, added: “We’re delighted that Cumbria Deaf Association has joined the movement of almost 9,000 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.”