Sedgemoor District Council passed a Labour motion at its last full Council meeting to actively promote the Living Wage and acknowledge all organisations in Sedgemoor who pay the Living Wage, rather than the minimum wage. Sedgemoor works with employers and organisations via Local Labour Agreements which ensures that local people are given training and help to get jobs.
In speaking to the motion, Cllr Mick Lerry (Labour) commented that a large number of people were paid below the living wage levels and it was important to have a local economy where prosperity was shared.
‘Calculated according to basic cost of living’
The Living Wage is an hourly rate set independently and updated annually. Currently it stands at £7.45 per hour and is announced in November each year. The Living Wage is a calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK. Employers choose to pay the Living Wage on a voluntary basis. The UK Living Wage is calculated by the Centre for Research in Social Policy . The National Minimum Wage is the minimum pay per hour almost all workers are entitled to by law. It doesn’t matter how small an employer is, they still have to pay the minimum wage. The minimum wage rate depends on a worker’s age and if they’re an apprentice. The main adult rate (for workers 21 and over) is £6.19 an hour. The rate for 18-20 year is £4.98 an hour.The rate for 16-17 year olds is £3.68 an hour . The rate for apprentices is £2.65 an hour.
“Making a difference for working people”
Sedgemoor Labour Group leader Cllr Mick Lerry stated that it was “important for the Council to become a Living Wage employer if we are going to ask employers to pay a Living Wage to employees. Employees earning less that a Living Wage have to rely on benefits to survive and this is only subsidising employers. For economic growth in Bridgwater and the surrounding areas there must be a Living Wage for employees and Labour believes that a Living Wage is important for workers to help them share in prosperity, rather than being under paid workers during a time of austerity.”
The Labour motion was carried and has now become Council policy, so in opposition the Labour Group on SDC are making a difference for working people.