Martin Ford 08 October 2019

Living wage boost would benefit hundreds of thousands of council staff

Living wage boost would benefit hundreds of thousands of council staff  image

Hundreds of thousands of council workers stand to benefit from pledges to increase the National Living Wage.

The two biggest political parties have committed to increasing the National Living Wage, which currently stands at £8.21 per hour for those over 25, £7.70 for those aged 21–24 and £6.15 for ages 18-20.

At the Conservative party conference last month, chancellor Sajid Javid pledged to increase the National Living Wage to £10.50 within the next five years and lower the age threshold from 25 to 21.

Labour has previously promised to raise the wage to £10 in 2020 and reduce the age to 18.

Although the national agreement ‘Green Book’ covering 1.4m workers sets minimum pay at £9 a hour, the Living Wage Foundation campaign found earlier this year that 389,000 council workers and 249,000 outsourced employees are earning less than this.

The campaign advocates a ‘real living wage’ of £10.55 in London and £9 elsewhere in the UK and has accredited 62 local authorities.

Katherine Chapman, director of the Living Wage Foundation, said: ‘As major employers, we know the significant impact local authorities have on their areas when they commit to paying a living wage, with other local employers often following suit.’

However, president of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), Julie Ogley, said the care sector needed more than a National Living Wage rise can achieve.

She said: ‘Although news of a planned National Living Wage increase is very welcome, sadly this alone isn’t enough to prevent social care from losing valued staff to other sectors.

‘We need a national workforce strategy in the medium term to give them very much deserved parity of pay for our frontline staff with their NHS colleagues, and a long term aim to progress towards a salaried workforce including the serious consideration of a social care minimum wage.’

A Local Government Association spokesman said that as a Government policy, National Living Wage rises constituted a cost pressure and therefore must be fully funded by Whitehall.

For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

SEND Operations Assistant

Essex County Council
Up to £12.02 per hour
The SEND Operations Assistant provides administration and support to the statutory SEND processes such as the Annual Review Process, in particular at phase transfer, as well as providing a triage service for all contacts received by the SEND Operations Te England, Essex, Harlow
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Relief Resource Centre Worker - Nidderdale Children's Resource Centre - Award Winning Team

North Yorkshire County Council
The role of Relief Resource Centre Worker is invaluable, rewarding, complex and challenging; you will play an... Harrogate, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Specialist Teacher

Birmingham City Council
Main/ Upper Pay Scale + up to full SEN Allowance
This exciting opportunity will be to join a well-established team supporting children and young people with communication and... Birmingham, West Midlands
Recuriter: Birmingham City Council

People Analytics / Workforce Planning Lead

Essex County Council
Job Purpose This role will be responsible for carrying out data extraction, manipulation, research, analysis, and interpretation of data to provide me England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Building Surveyor

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£39774 - £42684 per annum + Essential Car Allowance
Hi All, I'm currently recruiting for this position. Please click on the job title below to view the Job Description and apply to it! England, London, Woolwich
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue