Wessex Grounds Services gives Living Wage to employees

Wessex Grounds Services has committed to paying all its staff at least the Living Wage.

All permanent and sub-contracted staff will be paid at least £7.65 per hour, an hourly rate set independently and updated annually by the Living Wage Foundation.

The amount is based on an assessment of how much a person needs to earn to cover the basic costs of living and is higher than the Government-set minimum wage, which is currently £6.31 for adults, and £5.03 for those aged 18 to 21.

Unlike the Living Wage, there is not a separate rate for those who work in London. The Living Wage Foundation thinks people need £8.80 per hour at least to survive in the capital.

Accountancy firm KPMG has reported that 20 per cent of all workers in the UK, nearly five million people, are paid below it. The Living Wage campaign has been running for ten years and has lifted over 45,000 people out of poverty.

Wessex Grounds Services office manager Rebecca Vaughan said: "Wessex Grounds Services is proud to become a living wage employer, we value every employee and we are committed to ensuring that all staff, permanent and subcontracted, are paid at least the Living Wage."

An independent study of the business benefits of implementing a Living Wage policy in London for the Greater London Authority in 2009 found that more than 80 per cent of employers believe that the Living Wage had enhanced the quality of the work of their staff.

Absenteeism fell by approximately 25 per cent. A total of 66 per cent of employers reported a significant impact on recruitment and retention within their organisation and 70 per cent of employers felt that the Living Wage had increased consumer awareness of their organisation’s commitment to be an ethical employer.

Director of the Living Wage Foundation Rhys Moore said that the benefits of paying staff the Living Wage were clear.

"I welcome the leadership shown by Wessex Grounds Services on this important issue."

The Low Pay Commission recommended a three per cent rise in the National Minimum Wage for adults last month, the first time in six years the commission recommended an above inflation pay rise.

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