Manchester will celebrate receiving recognition from the Living Wage Foundation for its plan to make a Living Wage City at a meeting of the full Council this week (Weds 5 October).
As part of the Living Wage Foundation’s Making Living Wage Places scheme, local businesses and employers will be encouraged to pay employees the real Living Wage and become accredited as Living Wage Employers.
The alliance comprises Living Wage accredited employers from across the public, private and third sectors as well as civil society representatives and includes: University of Manchester, Bruntwood, KPMG, Manchester International Festival, Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, VCSE (voluntary, community and social enterprise) charity MACC, One Manchester, GMMH, and Brighter Sounds.
Each of the alliance of Living Wage institutions have agreed to a range of targets over the next three years as part of their commitment to support Manchester in becoming a Living Wage City. They will use their influence in their sectors and as anchor institutions to urge more organisations to become Living Wage accredited employers.
Over 160 employers in the city of Manchester have already voluntarily committed to ensure all their staff and subcontracted staff receive a real Living Wage of £10.90 an hour, significantly higher than the government minimum of £9.50.
The Making a Living Wage City action plan launched today sets out how the alliance intends to double the number of workers covered by Living Wage accreditation in Manchester over the next three years This will result in 4000 extra workers in the city being uplifted to the real Living Wage as a result of Living Wage accreditation by 2025.
Manchester City Council is already an accredited Living Wage Employer (accredited in 2019 by the Living Wage Foundation). Today’s recognition expands the ambition of Manchester’s pledge and urges as many businesses as possible to pay their employees a true living wage to support them to lead prosperous, happy and healthy lives.
Cllr Bev Craig, Leader of Manchester City Council, said:
“Being recognised for Making a Living Wage City is a marker of our commitment to creating a Manchester where all of our residents can live happy and healthy lives – and have the chance to share in the city’s success. Being paid the living wage isn’t just an arbitrary number. It’s an amount anyone needs in their pocket to lead their life without fear of poverty – or being forced to work multiple jobs to pay their bills.
“As we see the impact of the cost-of-living crisis become reality, our residents being paid a fair and just amount will be even more important. We know there is a link between good employment, our health and mental health. And that a decent wage is needed to underpin our wellbeing.
“There remain far too many jobs in Manchester that pay below the Real Living Wage and the challenge we have is to encourage as many businesses as possible to come on this journey with us. Both for the benefit of their employees, but also their own reputation as good employers.
“As a society we are still counting the cost of the pandemic and we are also looking to tough economic times ahead, particularly for lower income households. So our commitment to being a Living Wage City isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s essential for the wellness of our residents.”
Katherine Chapman, Director, Living Wage Foundation said:
"The Living Wage Foundation's Making Living Wage Places scheme recognises groups of major local employers such as universities, sports clubs and local authorities that not only pay the living wage to their employers and contractors, but also use their influence to spread Living Wage accreditation through their local area. This increases Living Wage jobs, providing more workers with a fair day's pay for a hard day's work."
The real Living Wage is the only rate calculated according to what people need to make ends meet. It provides a voluntary benchmark for employers that choose to take a stand by ensuring their staff earn a wage that meets the costs and pressures they face in their everyday lives.
The UK Living Wage is currently £10.90 per hour. This is calculated annually by the Resolution Foundation and overseen by the Living Wage Commission, based on the best available evidence on living standards in London and the UK.
The Living Wage Foundation is the organisation at the heart of the movement of businesses, organisations and individuals who campaign for the simple idea that a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay.