Birmingham City Council has been shortlisted by the Living Wage Foundation for the Living Wage Champion Awards 2016.
The Living Wage Foundation offers a recognition mark for employers that commit to paying the Living Wage. There are now over 2,700 accredited employers.
The Living Wage is an hourly rate set independently and updated annually. The Living Wage is calculated according to the basic cost of living using the ‘Minimum Income Standard’ for the UK. Decisions about what to include in this standard are set by the public; it is a social consensus about what people need to make ends meet.
Councillor Majid Mahmood, cabinet member for value for money and efficiency, said: “It is great to get this recognition for paying a fair wage for all. We recently introduced the Birmingham Care Wage for our social care contracts as it is not right that carers should be exempt from a wage that enables them to have a decent standard of living. It is this principled stance that has been recognised by the Living Wage Foundation.
“However, the commercial reality of the business model is not lost on us. We have therefore started to make small steps towards closing the gap to give the market time to adapt and adjust. We have also increased our pay rates to the providers to share the cost. We have commissioned studies of the sector to better understand the financial implications of a higher wage rate than the minimum wage on the providers.
“We firmly believe that the introduction of the Birmingham Care Wage makes a clear statement that no sector should be excluded from the reward and recognition of their labour. We understand that this is an innovative approach to resolving an intractable problem which can be replicated by the public sector in general and local authorities in particular. This approach will open the doors to industries and sectors that would have been closed to the Living Wage previously.”
Living Wage Foundation Director, Katherine Chapman said: “I would like to offer huge congratulations to Birmingham City Cpuncil on being shortlisted for the Living Wage Champion Awards. The commitment of Living Wage employers to responsible pay makes a life changing difference to families and communities across the UK. We look forward to celebrating this even more when announcing the winners of the regional awards during Living Wage Week which will begin on October 31st.”
The award winners will be announced during Living Wage Week, with one winner announced for each region of the UK: Scotland; Wales; Northern Ireland; the East Midlands; the West Midlands; the East of England; Yorkshire and the Humber; North East England; North West England; South East England; South West England; and London.
The awards are judged by an independent panel of community leaders from Citizens UK; national community organising charity and home of the Living Wage campaign.