Oldham Council becomes a Living Wage Employer

Oldham Council received accreditation for becoming a Living Wage Employer in November 2019.

The accreditation commits Oldham Council to paying at least the Foundation Living Wage (currently £9 per hour, but due to rise today) to all staff, and to work with suppliers to ensure that they do the same. This rate is above the Government’s current National Living Wage of £7.83 per hour (£8.21 from April 2019).

Furthermore, Becoming accredited through the Living Wage Foundation links to our Oldham Model and our ambitions for an Inclusive Economy, with Thriving Communities and Co-operative Services. Our Social Value Framework and Oldham’s Fair Employment Charter (soon to adopt the GM Good Employer Charter) supports the Council’s priority to tackle the issues associated with low pay, including health inequalities, productivity, dignity and social inclusion.

Our ambition for Oldham is to build an inclusive economy, with thriving communities and co-operative services. We want Oldham to be a place where everyone has a fair and real chance to access opportunities and improve their own lives. We strive for an ambitious and socially mobile borough through making significant progress in living standards, wages and skills for everyone.

Improving wages plays a significant role in building an inclusive economy, therefore the Living Wage is an important tool because it provides a level of pay that adequately allows workers to provide for themselves and their families. As such, the Living Wage can help tackle inequality. Paying a Living Wage can also boost the local economy by giving workers more money to spend on goods and services.

Continuing to implement the Living Wage, as advocated by the Living Wage Foundation, is a cornerstone of how the Council intends to model being a fair employer under its Fair Employment Charter, and how it leads the way with social value. Although there is no mandate that other employers must adopt the living wage as part of their accreditation to the Council’s Charter, employers must provide their pay rates and demonstrate, amongst other things, how they are tackling low pay to improve the terms and conditions of the lowest paid, where this is possible. This report goes further than previous, with considering if the Council should extend the provision of the living wage to the majority suppliers of service, modelling social policy by example.