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Nottinghamshire Police first force in England and Wales to become Living Wage employer

Living Wage

At an event marking the start of Living Wage Week this Monday in Market Square Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping will reveal in front of a crowd of local residents that Nottinghamshire Police is to be the first police force in England and Wales to sign up to a national campaign calling for all workers to be paid an hourly rate that matches the cost of living. 

The announcement by the Commissioner means that all employees of the force and his own staff will receive at least the Living Wage or higher. 

The Commissioner will also write to contractors and those providing other services to encourage them to adopt the same standards.

The Living Wage Foundation was launched by campaign group Citizens UK in 2001 and encourages employers to sign up to a pledge to provide workers with a salary which ensures their family can afford the basic essentials of life. The ‘Living Wage’ is an hourly rate which is set annually (outside London) by the Centre of Social Policy at Loughborough University, which takes greater account of the cost of living. Considerably higher than the minimum wage, the Living Wage delivers the minimum pay rate needed to ensure a family can live above the poverty line.  

The current Living Wage figure is £8.55 per hour in London and £7.45 per hour outside of the capital however campaign leaders are set to reveal the latest figure at the launch of Living Wage Week in the Market Square in Nottingham on Monday (November 4).

More than 300 organisations have already gained Living Wage accreditation and Nottinghamshire Police is to be the first police force in England and Wales to join the campaign. Employers are eligible to join if they are already providing an hourly rate that matches or exceeds the Living Wage for all employees and external sub-contractors or if they wish to affirm their commitment to raising their pay rates within an agreed timetable.

Since its launch, the campaign has achieved £240m of Living Wages which has lifted more than 45,000 families out of working poverty. Leading financial institutions such as Barclays and KPMG as well as the Olympic Delivery Authority and the Greater London Authority have all thrown their weight behind the concept and signed up to Living Wage accreditation.

Announcing Nottinghamshire Police’s commitment, Commissioner Tipping said: “I am immensely proud to announce that Nottinghamshire Police is to be the first force in the country to sign up to the Living Wage. This means that anyone employed by us will receive remuneration that is at or beyond the current Living Wage to help make life easier to manage.

“Living Wage is not a statutory obligation but instead requires businesses and public organisations to make an ethical decision to protect the welfare of their employees including those only now starting out on their careers and those who are employed indirectly through external agencies. Both the Chief Constable and I understand the hardships many families face, particularly in the current economic climate, and feel rightly responsible for easing that journey by ensuring that workers on a lower income are fairly rewarded for the important role they play in in supporting the economy.

“Police forces are at the centre of community life and it’s vitally important that we lead by example and demonstrate our commitment to addressing poverty and its related social issues, which affect everybody.”

Chief Constable Chris Eyre said:  "Here at Nottinghamshire Police we operate a structured pay scale to ensure our staff and officers are remunerated appropriately, taking into account their roles, responsibilities, hours and tenure. I am pleased that our minimum pay exceeds the ‘living wage’ and delighted with Paddy’s principled commitment to this.

"Paying a 'living wage' goes a long way to ensuring our colleagues are happy and healthy both in and out of work. This, in turn, helps them provide high quality service to the people of Nottinghamshire. I hope other employers follow our example."

George Gabriel, local spokesman for the Living Wage Foundation and Lead Organiser for Nottingham Citizens said “We’re delighted the Police and Crime Commissioner has taken the bold decision to introduce the Living Wage. Working people deserve to make enough to get by, none more than those who help in making sure Nottingham and Nottinghamshire are the safest they can be.”

Research has found that Living Wage accreditation improves staff morale and enhances retention rates. The Living Wage Foundation said 80% of accredited employers reported improvements in work quality following its introduction, 66% of employers reported an increase in staff recruitment and retention, 25% reported a fall in absenteeism since the Living Wage was introduced to contracted services and 70% witnessed an improvement in consumer awareness of their organisation’s commitment to be regarded as an ethical employer.

Chief Constable Chris Eyre said:  "Here at Nottinghamshire Police we operate a structured pay scale to ensure our staff and officers are remunerated appropriately, taking into account their roles, responsibilities, hours and tenure. I am pleased that our minimum pay exceeds the ‘living wage’ and delighted with Paddy’s principled commitment to this.

"Paying a 'living wage' goes a long way to ensuring our colleagues are happy and healthy both in and out of work. This, in turn, helps them provide high quality service to the people of Nottinghamshire. I hope other employers follow our example."

Media Enquiries:   Sallie Blair - 01283 821012 / 07702 541401


Posted on Monday 4th November 2013
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