Eden Housing adopts Living Wage philisophy
Published by Tracey Errington for Eden Housing Association Limited in Housing
Eden Housing Association
Chancellor George Osborne may be looking to shift policy on minimum wage, but here in Cumbria, Eden Housing Association has already made a move to improve staff income by adopting the Living Wage standard.
The minimum wage is currently £6.31/hr, but the Living Wage Foundation bases their calculations on the basic cost of living, something that is reassessed on an annual basis, and in Cumbria, the level is set at £7.65/hr.
The Living Wage enjoys cross party support, with public backing from the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition. The rates are based on recommendations made by the independent ‘Low Pay Commission’. This is made up of a panel of experts who carry out research, analyse statistics and meet with employers and workers. The commission then makes a recommendation to Government.
There are 57 accredited organisations in the North West, but according to the latest Living Wage Foundation website, Eden Housing Association is one of only two accredited organisations with Head Offices in Cumbria (Glasstap Ltd in Alston is the second).
John Clasper, Managing Director of Eden Housing Association said “from an ethical point of view we wanted to make sure all our staff have a decent standard of living. We aligned ourselves with the Living Wage at the end of last year, increasing pay levels for those on minimum wage. Only 5 members of staff (7%) required a rate increase.”
Eden Housing Association is now encouraging other employers with whom they collaborate to adopt the same accreditation. John Clasper said “Paying the Living Wage is a recognised sign of good practice in employment, something we’d like to encourage. Independent studies examining the business effects suggest that the Living Wage enhances the quality of work, reduces absenteeism and improves recruitment potential which can only be a good thing for any organisation.”
Visit www.edenha.org.uk to see more on Eden Housign Association or, to find out more about the Living Wage visit: www.livingwage.org.uk