Stockport Council achieve Real Living Wage accreditation

Stockport Council has made an important commitment that supports its employees at a time when many workers nationally are struggling with the cost-of-living crisis.

Stockport Council achieve Real Living Wage accreditation

It was announced that Stockport Council has been accredited as a Real Living Wage (RLW) Employer by the Living Wage Foundation.

The RLW is the only rate independently calculated according to the cost of living through pricing a basket of household goods and services. It provides a voluntary benchmark for employers that wish to ensure their staff earn a wage they can live on, which is more than the government minimum or ‘national living’ wage (currently £9.50).

The RLW is a crucial part of the Council’s Fair and Inclusive approach and, along with the Greater Manchester Good Employment Charter (of which we became a full member in August 2022), is a central strand of our economic plan.

Stockport Council has been paying at least the RLW to all its direct employees since April 2014 – at that time the RLW hourly rate was £7.65 for all over 18s. Since then, the RLW has risen to £9.90 (2022/23) and £10.90 (from 1st April 2023).

In March 2022, the council committed to becoming a RLW employer with cross-party support for this decision. This means that all council employees and all contractor staff employed in delivering services on behalf of the council for more than 2 hours a week for 8 or more consecutive weeks in a year will be paid the RLW. This includes ensuring the fees we pay our social care providers enable them to pay the Real Living Wage to their employees. All Adult Social Care contracts have been fully RLW compliant since September 2022.

The Council has agreed a milestone plan with the RLW Foundation to ensure that all staff working for a contractor on an SMBC contract will be uplifted to pay the RLW within the next three years.

The Council will work across the borough to support and encourage local businesses, partners and organisations to become accredited.

Councillor Malcolm Allan, Stockport Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources, said: “I am proud to say that Stockport Council has become an accredited Real Living Wage Employer. Since 2014 we have matched the RLW for our lowest paid workers and have continued to do this because it is a crucial part of our fair and inclusive approach. We want to ensure that all our staff have a decent standard of living, especially with the cost-of-living crisis making life even more difficult. We encourage more businesses in Stockport to consider becoming RLW employers, as it improves employee wellbeing and ensures employees have enough in their pay packets to meet their everyday needs.”

Katherine Chapman, Director of the Living Wage Foundation, said: “We are thrilled that Stockport Council is now a Living Wage Employer and has become the sixth local authority in Greater Manchester to pay a wage that reflects everyday needs. By signing up to the real Living Wage, Stockport Council is leading the way in making Greater Manchester a Living Wage Place at a critical time. It’s never been more important for wages to meet the cost of living, and we encourage those organisations who can to follow Stockport Council's lead in supporting their workers live a dignified life.”

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: "I am delighted to hear the Stockport Council have been accredited as a Real Living Wage (RLW) Employer by the Living Wage Foundation.

"With 6 out of 10 Greater Manchester Councils now accredited, this is positive step towards fulfilling our commitment of a making Greater Manchester the UK's first Living Wage City-Region and ensuring everyone working in Greater Manchester is paid a real living wage for real living hours.

"Paying employees a living wage is not only good for workers but good for businesses, helping them attract and retain staff, it is also good for Greater Manchester's economy."