Northern gains living wage accreditation


Rail operation organisation Northern, which employs 5,600 staff, has been accredited as a living wage employer by the Living Wage Foundation.

The organisation has increased pay for 185 employees, including train presentation operatives, to raise wages from £7.83 an hour to the voluntary living wage rate of £8.45 an hour. The pay increase came into effect in July.

The living wage accreditation confirms Northern’s commitment to pay both direct employees and third-party contractors at least the voluntary living wage rate.

The living wage is an independently set hourly rate of pay that is calculated according to the basic cost of living. It is paid on a voluntary basis by employers and updated annually. Currently, the living wage rate is set at £8.45 an hour for employees across the UK, and £9.75 an hour for staff who work in London. The higher London living wage rate reflects the increased costs associated with living in the capital.

The voluntary living wage is distinct from the statutory national living wage that is paid to employees aged 25 and over. The national living wage rate is currently set at £7.50 an hour.

Alan Chaplin, managing director at Northern, said: “When we started the franchise in April 2016 we made a number of firm commitments around our people, including gaining the living wage accreditation.

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“To be recognised as a living wage employer almost 18 months on is another proud achievement for Northern and it follows a recent 2.6% pay rise for all our frontline employees.

“Joining the Living Wage Foundation reflects the value we place in our people, ensuring they have sufficient income to support their families.”