Sunderland employers commit to the real living wage

The City Council has been working in partnership with the Living Wage Foundation (LWF) to promote the Real Living Wage of £10.90 an hour which is higher than the Government minimum of £10.42 (adults 23+).

There are now 31 Living Wage employers headquarted in Sunderland alongside 46 who have branches or district centres in Sunderland.

New accreditations include Pennywell Neighbourhood Centre, Sunderland Carers Centre, Sunderland Counselling Service, North East England Business and Innovation Centre (NEBIC) and Sustainable Business Services Ltd.

Major employers based in the city such as the University of Sunderland and Gentoo are in the scheme and, alongside City Council staff, more than 10,000 people working in the city now receive the Real Living Wage. The Living Wage rates for next year are due to be announced later this month and Living Wage Week begins on Monday 6 November.

Sunderland City Council Cabinet Secretary, Councillor Paul Stewart said: “I think it’s important that all employers look to see where they can help and do their utmost to support their lowest paid workers.”

Sunderland City Council was the first council in the North East to commit to the scheme and has paid employees the Real Living Wage recommended by the LWF since 2014. Following accreditation with the LWF in 2020, it has extended this commitment to staff working for council contractors as contracts are renewed.

Last year Sunderland won a national award for its work championing the right of lower paid workers and is aiming to become a Real Living Wage city in coming years.

Cllr Stewart added: “We very much want to make Sunderland a Real Living Wage city and we continue to encourage other local employers to help us meet this goal.”

One of the new accredited employers is Sunderland Carers Centre in Thompson Road, Southwick. It employs 25 staff, who provide information, advice, guidance, a listening ear, and ongoing one-to-one and group support for unpaid carers aged five years and above.

Amanda Brown, the centre’s chief executive officer, said: “We are proud be a member of a movement of thousands of organisations, businesses and employers across the UK who believe that a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay. A Real Living Wage is about ensuring a fairer wage that can make a real difference to so many employees in these challenging times.

“As we join others with our accreditation, we hope that it helps encourage more businesses and more employers to sign-up and see that Sunderland becomes a Real Living Wage city for everyone.”

By Mark Adair – Correspondent, Bdaily

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