‘Living Water’ company now also a Living Wage employer

02.11.2015

All Northumbrian Water people will now earn at least £7.85 per hour as the Living Wage Foundation announced the water company’s official accreditation as a Living Wage employer today.

The announcement comes at the start of Living Wage Week, a country-wide celebration of companies that have done the right thing and implemented the Living Wage.

Currently the Living Wage pay rise will benefit about 24 workers at the water company which employs more than 3,100 people who all already earn more than the Living Wage.

Everyone aged 18 or over who is employed by Northumbrian Water, including the company’s apprentices, will now receive a minimum hourly wage of £7.85 - significantly higher than the national minimum wage of £6.70. The company will pay the new Living Wage of £8.25 from April 2016.

Northumbrian Water Group Chief Executive Officer, Heidi Mottram, said: “We are delighted to have made the commitment to the Living Wage standard for now and the future.

“We appreciate that the current economic climate is challenging for people and we feel that making this voluntary commitment fits with our values and our continued aim for Northumbrian Water to be a great place to work - and part of that is making sure all our people receive a fair wage for the important work that they do.”

Northumbrian Water has more than 3,100 full and part time employees working in the north east of England and for it’s southern division, Essex & Suffolk Water.

About two dozen employees, including apprentices, will see the increase in their next pay packet. Pay rates for everyone else are currently already above the living wage rate of £7.85 an hour.

By extending the Living Wage to apprentices, Northumbrian Water is going beyond the minimum requirements of the Living Wage, giving a real boost to people starting out in their careers.

As part of this commitment the Living wage will also be extended to people who work for third-party contractors and suppliers over time as contracts are awarded or renewed. All future increases in the Living Wage will be adopted in the annual April pay reviews.

The Living Wage is an hourly rate set independently and updated annually. It is calculated according to the basic cost of living using the ‘Minimum Income Standard’ for the UK. Decisions about what to include in this standard are set by the public and it is a social consensus about what people need to make ends meet. The rate for 2016 has today been announced at £8.25 by the Living Wage Foundation.

Living Wage Foundation Director, Sarah Vero said: “We are delighted to welcome Northumbrian Water to the Living Wage movement as an accredited employer.

“The best employers are voluntarily signing up to pay the Living Wage now. The Living Wage is a robust calculation that reflects the real cost of living, rewarding a hard day’s work with a fair day’s pay.”

Employers choose to pay the Living Wage on a voluntary basis. The Living Wage enjoys cross party support, with public backing from the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition.

Note: The water company’s current brand logos are: ‘Northumbrian Water, living water’ and ‘Essex & Suffolk Water, living water’.

For further media information contact: PR & Media Manager, Alistair Baker on 0191-3016851 / 07711 793493.

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