Waltham Forest Council gains living wage accreditation

Waltham Forest Council

Waltham Forest Council has been accredited as a living wage employer by the Living Wage Foundation.

The organisation has committed to paying all of its permanent employees and agency staff at least the voluntary London living wage rate of £9.75 an hour.

Waltham Forest Council has also committed to working with its suppliers to encourage more organisations to pay the London living wage to staff.

The council has been paying its staff the London living wage since 2011, and it gained official accreditation by the Living Wage Foundation in July 2017.

The living wage is an independently set hourly rate of pay that is calculated according to the basic cost of living. The rate, which is paid on a voluntary basis by employers, is updated annually. The living wage for employees working in the UK is £8.45 an hour. The higher London living wage rate of £9.75 an hour reflects the increased costs of living in the capital.

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

Councillor Clare Coghill, leader of the council, said: “I’m really proud of achieving this accreditation from the Living Wage Foundation. Waltham Forest has always strived to be a good employer, paying rates that mean our team do not just scrape by on their salaries, but can actually have a better quality of life.

“We have committed to maintaining the London living wage, and also to work with many of our suppliers to ensure that those people who work for the council, but at arms-length, also see the benefits of a minimum salary that provides for their needs.

“I would urge all employers; especially those with medium and large workforces to strive for this accreditation and ensure their staff are paid and treated fairly. Research shows that [organisations] that do, have more highly motivated staff and better recruitment and retention rates.”