Kirklees – Kirklees Council cabinet have agreed to refer a report introducing the living wage to a full council meeting in March before taking it to Personnel Committee for final agreement. The Budget Council last week agreed to put aside funding to implement the change.
The living wage, which would pay £7.88 per hour will mean a wage increase for the just over 2,000 people working in the council.
Cabinet agreed that the council will continue to monitor the impact of introducing the living wage both in terms of benefits to the individual and the organisation. Cabinet also agreed that the council should be an advocate for the introduction of the living wage to other organisations in the district. The report states that where the living wage has been introduced in other organisations, there have been savings made in terms of fewer people leaving and improved wellbeing of staff.
The report also highlighted the importance of ensuring that staff are aware of non-salary benefits, training and development available to them and suggested the joining of a west Yorkshire wide initiative looking at ways to increase the benefits available to the lowest paid employees through collective bargaining.
Cllr David Sheard Leader of Kirklees Council said: “We aim to bring in the living wage for council staff as early as possible. This is not only going to benefit our own employees – by setting an example and encouraging other local organisations to do the same, we will hopefully help a lot more people in Kirklees take a step out of poverty.”
“It also means that this money will be filtering down to those who are in greater need and who will feel the greater benefit. It will be spent locally to boost our economy, supporting business and helping us to make Kirklees a thriving district in which to live, work and invest.”