Greater Manchester is now home to over 100 accredited Living Wage Employers, who pay the full Living Wage rate of £8.25/hr or above to all of their staff. Greater Manchester is the first city region in the country outside London to reach this milestone.
This is a great achievement for the campaign, and for each and every Living Wage employer that has made it happen. It means a significant pay rise for thousands of the lowest paid staff in the region. There were only 16 Living Wage Employers based in Gtr Manchester when we launched just 2½ years ago.
Four businesses from Manchester, Salford, Trafford, and Wigan respectively, were accredited on the same day, so we’re counting each of them as the 100th employer! This takes the number of Greater Manchester-based Living Wage employers up from 99 to 103. More than half of these are within the city of Manchester. That compares to 39 in Birmingham, the next highest besides London.
Tom Skinner, Coordinator of the Greater Manchester Living Wage Campaign said:
“When this campaign launched two and a half years ago, there were only 16 Living Wage employers across the whole of Greater Manchester. What’s more, in-work poverty was not widely discussed or understood as a major concern for the region. We set out to change that, and today we celebrate having 103 Living Wage Employers.
“We have shown that Greater Manchester can go one better than the Government’s “National Living Wage” of £7.20/hr, which isn’t a Living Wage because it’s not based on the cost of living.
“But this is only the start – we want to make Greater Manchester a Living Wage Zone; to put Living Wage policy and a culture of social equality at the heart of how Greater Manchester works. There are still many people in work who struggle to get by, so there’s a lot more work to be done.”
Niel Bethell, Managing Director of High Access (one of the 100th local Living Wage Employers), said:
“I’m proud that High Access has been accredited as a living wage employer, and wanted to share why we felt this was an important move. First things first. When was the last time any of us went into a business meeting or started a day’s work thinking we’d give it the minimum investment required and expected to get the best results? Nothing about the way we do business at High Access involves a minimum effort as we seek to consistently deliver the height of expertise.
“As an employer, we wanted to ensure our people felt valued and rewarded fairly for the great work they do. For us, we’re looking to harness the ambition and discretionary effort of our already motivated team, so that we can all grow together and allow future investment by going the extra mile (or in our case skyward) for our clients.”
Greater Manchester Mayor Tony Lloyd said:
“Without the Living Wage, people can find themselves in work, yet still in poverty. This is scandalous and counter-productive. The Living Wage helps people to live their lives, realise their aspirations, and contribute fully to their local communities and the economy, which benefits us all – including businesses.
“If Greater Manchester is to flourish and thrive, we must provide the incentive, opportunities and skills that will enable local people to support themselves and their families. I urge more local employers to look at the benefits of providing a Living Wage and help Greater Manchester establish itself as a place that truly values the people that live and work here; that sees employees as assets to be nurtured and protected, not just an expenditure that must be offset against profits.”
Katherine Chapman, Director of the Living Wage Foundation said:
“I am so excited to see that more and more Greater Manchester employers are becoming proud adopters of the voluntary Living Wage. It’s great that we have such a diverse group of employers both large and small ranging from The Co-operative Bank to Bradley’s Bakery showing their belief that a fair day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay. This is the best route to fighting the in-work poverty that so many people in Greater Manchester struggle with.”