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East Ayrshire Council supports Living Wage Week

East Ayrshire Council is supporting Living Wage Week (15-19 November) after being accredited as a Living Wage Employer last year to ensure that people are paid fairly for the work they do.

The Council achieved accredited living wage status in April 2020 after undergoing a rigorous application process.

The real Living Wage rate this year has largely been driven by sharply rising fuel and rent costs. The real Living Wage is different to the Government minimum wage for over 23s, called the ‘National Living Wage’ (NLW). While the real Living Wage is independently calculated based on living costs and is paid by employers voluntarily, the government’s NLW is based on a percentage of median earnings, and all employers are required to pay it.

The Living Wage has risen to £9.90 per hour, which is significantly higher than the government minimum for over 23s, which currently stands at £8.91 per hour.

Councillor Douglas Reid, Leader of the Council said: “The Council wholly supports the real Living Wage which, unlike the National Living Wage, is based on living costs including housing, fuel, food, childcare, transport and essential items of clothing, like winter coats for children.

“Since we are still in the midst of the COVID pandemic, it’s even more important that we provide employees and their families with some much-needed stability and security, and at a time of rising costs, the real Living Wage can offer some protection from these.

“Achieving accredited Living Wage status last year was an important part of our vision for East Ayrshire and our local workforce. We are proud to be accredited Living Wage employers more so than ever right now.”