Norwich City Council launches living wage place initiative

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A coalition of local businesses, charities and public sector organisations, forming the Making Norwich a Living Wage City Action Group, has launched its plan to increase the number of accredited living wage employers in the city.

The group is comprised of Norwich City Council, Aviva, City College Norwich, Future Projects, and Broadland Housing Association, all of which are living wage employers. Their plan involves encouraging employers to adopt the living wage, ensuring all employees are paid more than the minimum wage.

According to the alliance, there are currently 50 real living wage accredited employers in Norwich. It aims to triple this to 150 by 2025. The key sectors it will target are care, retail, hospitality, and property and construction.

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.

Councillor Alan Waters, leader of Norwich City Council and chair of the Norwich Living Wage Action Group, said: “Poverty has been a stubborn fact of life for many Norwich residents, one that has become an acute problem over the past decade. A living wage is one of the means to tackle the blight of poverty in the city.

“Norwich is a success story with an active living wage movement that has accredited employers across all sectors of the city’s economy. But there is more to do, to take things to the next stage. That is why we have collectively worked with the foundation to become a designated living wage place.”

Katherine Chapman, director of the Living Wage Foundation, added: “It’s great to see major local employers in Norwich coming together to tackle in-work poverty. This is an ambitious plan to substantially increase living wage jobs in the city, and ultimately make Norwich a living wage city.

“We hope to see many more employers in the area commit to pay a real living wage over the coming years to provide thousands more workers and families with security and stability during these challenging times.”