Food banks in and around Northampton seen three fold increase as as result of Covid-19 pandemic

Motion urges West Northamptonshire Council to become a Living Wage employer

Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 1:46 pm
Low pay is a leading cause of poverty, with most people living in poverty now being in working households
Low pay is a leading cause of poverty, with most people living in poverty now being in working households

A motion is set to be proposed to West Northamptonshire Council urging it to become a Living Wage employer to help tackle the problems of low pay.

Councillor Emma Roberts has moved the motion which is due to be heard at tomorrow's full council meeting (July 15).

The member for Delapre and Rushmere is calling for the new authority to sign up for Living Wage Foundation Accreditation.

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The motion states that foodbanks in West Northants have seen their usage rise three fold as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The motion is due to be seconded by councillor Danielle Stone. It reads: 'Over one million people working in the public sector are paid less than the real Living Wage.

'As a result, more workers than ever are struggling to keep their heads above water on wages that don’t meet the basic costs and pressures of everyday life.

'That low pay is a leading cause of poverty, with most people living in poverty now being in working households.

'That foodbank providers within the West Northants footprint have seen usage increase three fold as a result of the pandemic and ensuring a real living wage is available to as many as possible is essential to any Covid19 recovery plan.

'Research in 2018 found that the extra wages paid by local authorities accredited as Living Wage Employers are inevitably invested back into the local economy.

'As a council who has committed to producing an anti-poverty strategy, taking steps to seek living wage accreditation would cement that commitment.

'Through accreditation, this local authority would be making a commitment to tackle in-work poverty in our communities.

'Accreditation also means the authority can use the Living Wage Employer Mark to publicly demonstrate this commitment to the real Living Wage.

'This will support a commitment to all staff and their quality of life, raises the profile of the Living Wage campaign locally, sets its stall out as a model employer and demonstrates visible leadership on tackling poverty pay, inspiring others to do the same.

'Beyond being the right thing to do and an investment in both workers and the community, paying the real Living Wage has distinct benefits for local authorities as employers.

'This Council resolves: To commit to becoming a Living Wage Employer and seeking Living Wage Foundation Accreditation

'To ensure all directly employed staff are paid at least the real Living Wage

'To enquire with the Living Wage Foundation to begin the process and receive guidance

'To nominate an individual to be lead officer on the real Living Wage to liaise with the Living Wage Foundation and document progress

'To initiate an internal working group to plan and manage the Living Wage on an ongoing basis.

'To identify all relevant contracts that need the Living Wage embedded, with target dates for implementation

'To build Living Wage into all terms and conditions, pre-qualification questionnaires and future supplier communications

'To plan how this will be managed and reported annually to the Living Wage Foundation

'To report on the plan with dates for implementation at the council’s AGM.'