Belfast City Council has become the first council in Northern Ireland to become an accredited Living Wage Employer.
To become accredited, Council has to pay its employees the Foundation Living Wage as well as ensuring any regularly contracted workers are paid the living wage hourly rate.
Councillor Mal O’Hara, chair of Belfast City Council’s Social Policy Working Group, said: “Council has long been committed to becoming a Living Wage Employer, so this accreditation marks an important milestone in that journey.
“It also acknowledges our commitment, through our Social Value Procurement Policy, to set a timeline by which all third party contractors must pay their employees the Real Living Wage; a significant positive step towards our inclusive growth ambitions, as outlined in the Belfast Agenda, the city’s community plan. Given that we are working with multiple contractors to deliver major investment projects across the city, this policy will have a substantial impact and bring positive benefits for our city’s workforce.
“The accreditation comes at a time when we are all feeling the impact of rising energy bills and the cost of living, so this issue has never been more important. It demonstrates our commitment to showing civic leadership on this issue, and I hope it sends a signal to other employers and organisations and encourages them to adopt a similar approach.”
Katherine Chapman, Director, Living Wage Foundation said: “We’re delighted that Belfast City Council has joined the movement of nearly 12,000 responsible employers across the UK who voluntarily commit to go further than the government minimum to make sure all their staff earn enough to live on.
“They join thousands of small businesses, as well as the City of Edinburgh Council, the Greater London Authority and the Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust. These organisations recognise that paying the real Living Wage is the mark of a responsible employer and they, like Belfast City Council, believe that a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay.”