North Ayrshire Council has committed to paying its staff the new real Living Wage five months early.
To mark the start of Living Wage Week, the new rate of £9.90 per hour was announced.
Although the new real Living Wage rate is not due to be adopted by businesses and organisations until April 2022, the authority has committed to applying this rate of pay from Monday 15 November.
The announcement will affect 751 council employees in predominantly frontline roles.
Commenting, Leader of North Ayrshire Council and Cabinet Member for Community Wealth Building, Councillor Joe Cullinane said:
“I am proud to lead a council which has a long-standing commitment to fair work and pay.
“In doing so, we acknowledge that earning the real Living Wage can make a huge difference to people’s lives.
“Normally, the new rate doesn’t kick in for quite a few months, but here at North Ayrshire Council we have ensured our staff get paid the new rate as soon as possible, a commitment we have delivered on since I became Leader.
“Not only is paying employees a wage that supports a decent standard of living an ethical and responsible thing to do, but there are also clear business and economic benefits in doing so.
“That’s why fair work is one of the key pillars in our Community Wealth Building approach.
“As North Ayrshire’s largest employer, we have to lead by example and hopefully inspire other businesses and organisations to consider committing to paying the real Living Wage.”
North Ayrshire Council has paid the real Living Wage since 2011 and is one of a number of local authorities from across Scotland to be officially accredited by the Living Wage Scotland accreditation initiative.
The Living Wage is an independently calculated figure which is updated annually to reflect the basic cost of living in the UK and is voluntarily paid by more than 5,000 businesses who believe their staff deserve a fair day's pay for a hard day's work.
According to the Living Wage Foundation, independent research on employers who have introduced the rate has shown increases in employee productivity, greater staff retention and reduced sickness absence.
As well as this, it has shown to improve levels of morale, motivation and commitment.