Weston Town Council is to pay all of its employees the minimum real living wage, in line with the Living Wage Foundation guidelines.
This means that every employee aged over 18 will be paid a minimum of £9.30 an hour, estimating to cost the council £3,400 a year.
The council is now seeking accreditation from the Living Wage Foundation. Businesses that become an accredited living wage employer commit to paying more than the legal minimum wage set by the government, which currently stands at £8.72 for employees aged 25 and over.
The Living Wage Foundation is calling on businesses to voluntarily pay employees a minimum of £9.30 an hour, and £10.75 in London, exceeding the minimum legal requirement.
Helen Thornton, councillor at Weston-Super-Mare Town Council, said: “We are sending out a signal for all businesses to pay a wage their employees can live on. For 10 weeks we all stood on our doorsteps at 8pm every Thursday to clap for our carers and key workers.
“These are the people who have been on the front-line of dealing with the human impact of Covid-19 (Coronavirus), yet these same staff are often among some of our lowest paid and, too often, can face in-work poverty. Clapping our carers and key workers does not pay their bills.
“These are the people who have been risking their lives by going to work to keep our society going, and allow the rest of us to stay at home and stay safe.
“The Coronavirus crisis has exposed the low wages of many of our key workers such as care workers, shop and supermarket workers, and delivery drivers.
“At this difficult time in our country’s history, we have an opportunity and an obligation as a town council to set an example, and send out a signal to the people of Weston that fairness demands we pay workers a wage that they can actually live on.”