Standing by its values – Unity Trust Bank leads Living Wage accreditation in banking sector
Published by Sarah Gilbert for Unity Trust Bank in Communities
Birmingham based Unity Trust Bank, a specialist bank for the social economy, has received Living Wage employer accreditation. The first bank to do so, this confirms Unity’s commitment to paying its employees a living wage or more.
Living Wage employers pay their workers (all adults over the age of 18) rates of at least £8.55 an hour in London, and £7.45 outside the capital, significantly above the national minimum wage of £6.19 for workers aged 21 and over. The Living Wage is calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK and is set independently each year. The new calculation will be announced during Living Wage week, which starts on the 4th of November.
Unity Trust Bank Managing Director Richard Wilcox said: “As part of our wider commitment to delivering positive social change, we are proud to have implemented the Living Wage throughout the organisation. People may be surprised a bank feels it necessary to be recognised as a Living Wage employer, but we want to be sure all the workers we pay - particularly those beginning their careers - receive a fair wage they can live on.”
Living Wage spokesperson Caroline Reilly said: “We are delighted to welcome Unity Trust Bank to the Foundation, and to hold the first the Living Wage trademark in the UK on behalf of the banking sector. We encourage others to aim towards this benchmark and show leadership in this area. The roots of Unity Trust Bank reflect the Foundation’s civil society focus and our aims to work together for the common good.”
According to a recent report by the Resolution Foundation and the Institute of Public Policy Research, widespread use of the living wage could save the government £2 billion a year in the form of higher income tax and national insurance, alongside lower spending on benefits and tax credits.
Unity’s commitment to the Living Wage is part of the Bank’s wider employee commitments. It has also recently established an Employee Share Ownership Plan (ESOP), which enables staff to own a stake in the organisation.
Richard Wilcox continued: “Our people are our best asset. As a socially responsible bank founded on strong social values, this is a natural step for Unity. We will continue to reinvest our profits into the business to ensure we can support our customers in the future, while also sharing the wealth with our committed workforce and other civil society shareholders.”