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Preston Real Living Wage

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What is the Preston Real Living Wage?

Preston City Council is proud to be a nationally accredited Living Wage Employer and has an ambition for the city to become a Living Wage City, for all our employers to pay at least the real living wage to their employees.

While we believe that paying staff a fair and reasonable wage makes good business sense, we appreciate that this can be a process to go through rather than an instant change and want to engage with businesses and organisations throughout this journey.

The Real Living Wage initiative

The Preston Real Wage initiative has been designed to recognise businesses and organisations who are committed to paying their staff a fair and reasonable wage.

The initiative has 3 tiers:

Preston Real Wage Pledged Employer

We recognise the value of paying a fair wage to our employees and the local economy. We have an ambition to paying a fair and reasonable wage to our employees.

Preston Real Wage Employer

We believe that paying our staff a fair and reasonable wage is a key component of a strong local economy. We are committed to paying our employees the real Living Wage.

Accredited Preston Real Living Wage Employer

We believe that paying our staff a fair and reasonable wage is a key component of a strong local economy. We are nationally accredited by the Living Wage Foundation.

Why should I sign up

Each tier has a unique logo to use for footers, websites or anywhere else felt appropriate.

All businesses involved would be included on our Preston Real Living Wage employers page and have the opportunity to be referenced or involved in press opportunities.

To register your business or organisation for the Preston Real Wage scheme please complete the Real Living Wage employers form.

Sign up to become a Real Living Wage employer

For more additional information please contact Councillor Matthew Brown, Leader of Preston City Council at; or you can email

Who receives a Living Wage?

We pay a Living Wage to all our employed staff and all staff contracted as agency staff.

Does the Living Wage apply to other employers in the city?

The idea of the Living Wage is to encourage employers across Preston to raise their own rates of pay to at least £9.30 per hour.

The Preston Living Wage employers page provides a list of current living wage employers in Preston.

View Preston Living Wage employers

Why £9.30 per hour?

This figure of the real Living Wage is based on rates calculated annually by the Resolution Foundation and overseen by the Living Wage Commission, based on the best available evidence about living standards in London and the UK. 

Will the council award work to contractors who pay the Preston City Council Living Wage?

We recognise that, being a Living Wage employer, it is essential to widen the impact of the Living Wage policy, whilst at the same time working within the current legislative framework to encourage contractors and others to pay the Living Wage. 

We will actively look to implement the Living Wage Policy in our procurement practices on a case by case basis.

What are the benefits of paying a Living Wage? Why should I pay my staff a Living Wage?

In addition to the economic and social benefits for Preston's population, the payment of a Living Wage can have a positive impact on the delivery and services and value for money. Those bodies and companies who have implemented a Living Wage policy have identified potential benefits as:

  • Better quality services
  • Better productivity/motivation
  • Higher quality staff
  • Better attendance
  • Easier recruitment and retention

The Living Wage Foundation's own research shows that paying the real Living Wage has benefited nearly all of the businesses in a recent survey and improved their reputation. 

What do you need to become a Preston Living Wage Employer?

To become a living wage employer your business/company must:

1. Be located and operate in Preston

2. Pay all staff (excluding interns but including agency/temporary staff (third party contracted staff as appropriate) £9.30 per hour.

It makes a difference

The latest figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) using the National Living Wage in 2017 show that the number of jobs in Preston paid less than the living wage has decreased to 15,000 in 2017 (a drop of 4,000 from 2016).

A proportion of employee jobs receiving less than the living wage currently stands at 19.3%. This in turn means that currently 80.7% of all employees in Preston were paid the living wage in 2017 - an increase of 4% on 2016.

Nationally, part-time workers are more likely to earn less than the living wage.

Part-time employees who work in Preston generally earn the same or above the living wage (median or typical pay). For those who work in Preston, female part-time workers earn the highest hourly rate at £9.63 (median) out of 14 districts in Lancashire.

Male part-time workers who work here earn the second highest hourly rate of £8.76 (out of 10 districts). This has improved since the introduction of the living wage in 2011, with male part-time earnings per hour rising by £1.26 (or 17%) and £2.09 (or 28%) for females part-time per hour.

The hourly rate for all part-time employees who work in Preston has risen by £1.74 per hour (or by 23%) between 2011-2017; the highest increase across Lancashire (12 districts).

New Living Wage Business Directory

Due to popular demand from Living Wage supporters, the Living Wage foundation has created a business to business directory exclusively for Living Wage Employers and Recognised Service Providers.

Whether you're looking for event space, catering, cleaning, utilities, stationery, advice or training; the brand new directory is for you. 

To view the directory visit Living Wage Foundation - Business To Business Directory.

Living Wage video

View our Living Wage video below or access it through our YouTube channel.

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