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Preston Real Living Wage


The real Living Wage is an hourly rate of pay set independently and updated annually by the Resolution Foundation and overseen by the Living Wage Commission.

It is calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK, and employers choose to pay the Living Wage on a voluntary basis.

Currently, the London Living Wage is £11.95 per hour and the UK Living Wage for outside of London is £10.90 per hour.

Employers that pay the real Living Wage can become accredited with the Living Wage Foundation. This demonstrates a commitment to being a responsible employer and delivers benefits to both the staff and wider business.

Further details about the real Living Wage and the accreditation process can be found by visiting the Living Wage Foundation.

What are the benefits of the real Living Wage?

Paying the real Living Wage provides benefits to workers, the wider community and businesses.

The additional income provided by earning the real Living Wage compared to the government's minimum makes a big difference to workers. This wage supports people in being able to better provide for their everyday needs. This benefits the physical and mental health of individuals and their families.

Businesses also benefit when they pay their employees the real Living Wage. Staff motivation and productivity is higher, the employer brand is positively recognised, and staff attraction and retention improve.

Additionally, accredited employers are better positioned to secure contracts and funding due to their commitment to fair employment.

The Council's commitment to the real Living Wage

We put social justice and creating a fairer society at the heart of our work. Ensuring that the local community has access to decent and fair employment is an important part of this agenda.

We are committed to being a Living Wage Employer. We became a Living Wage accredited employer in 2012 and were the first northern Local Authority to achieve this status. Our Living Wage Policy shows our long-term support for this agenda.

As a Living Wage Employer we:

  • Ensure that all our employees are paid the Living Wage (this includes apprentices but excludes internships)
  • Pay all of our contracted agency staff the Living Wage
  • Increase the Living Wage paid if amended nationally (subject to budget) and implement as soon as possible
  • Aim to encourage and promote on a case-by-case basis that all employees of contractors working on qualifying service contracts be paid the Preston Living Wage
  • Encourage all employers both directly and through their sub-contractors and promote the Living Wage principles when there are opportunities to so do in the city through regeneration projects or business location

We also aim to promote paying the Living Wage through our procurement processes. As a Council, we have put in place a Social Value policy to encourage all developments above a certain threshold to maximise the benefits they deliver to the community. Our Social Value Procurement Framework assesses potential suppliers across a range of themes relevant to our values and ambitions, one of which is 'Promoting Fair Employment'. A key scoring criterion assesses the percentage of employees who receive the real Living Wage.

We encourage contractors working on qualifying services contracts to pay their employees the real Living Wage. Qualifying services contracts involve an employee of the contractor being on our premises or in contact with its staff for two or more hours per week for twelve or more consecutive weeks in the year. In these circumstances, we ask potential contractors the extent to which they are prepared to adopt Living Wage measures for any work they do as part of our contract. In letting any contract, we are required to demonstrate value for money and will consider how it can achieve its overall objectives on a case-by-case basis.

Accredited organisations in the city

Currently, around 30 businesses who are headquartered in Preston are accredited as Living Wage employers. To find out who is accredited in the city, visit Living Wage Foundation - Accredited Living Wage Employers.

The total number of workers employed by these accredited organisations in July 2023 was 15,523 and between them, they had uplifted 4,051 workers onto the real Living Wage.

We seek to actively encourage other businesses based in the city to begin their journey of accreditation with the Living Wage Foundation.

Becoming a Living Wage City

The Living Wage Foundation has expanded its accreditation system to take a place-based approach. It is now possible for a city, borough, or city-region to accredit as a Living Wage Place.

We are part of a group of accredited employers who are working hard to get Preston officially recognised as a Living Wage city. These organisations have come together to create a cross-sectoral local action group. Together, we are researching low pay in Preston and developing a 3-year action plan to make the real Living Wage the norm in our city.

Specific goals, targets and actions will be set in order to:

  • Increase the number of accredited employers in the city.
  • Uplift a number of employees onto the real Living Wage
  • Increase the number of Living Wage jobs available

How to get involved

If you would like to join the real Living Wage movement in Preston, the first step is accreditation. To accredit with the Living Wage Foundation, you need to:

  • Pay the real Living Wage to all your directly employed staff.
  • Have a plan in place to pay your contractors a Living Wage.
  • Complete a short application by visiting Living Wage Foundation - accredit

By becoming a Living Wage Employer, you are contributing towards making Preston a fairer city for everyone.

Living Wage video

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

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