Workers in Leeds carrying out essential services in the city are to be given a wage increase as part of Leeds City Council’s ongoing commitment to pay the Real Living Wage.
Proposals to increase minimum pay for council officers as well as homecare providers commissioned by the council to the Real Living Wage of £9.90 per hour from April 1 are part of the annual budget proposals to be considered by the executive board next week (February 9) following by full council at Leeds Civic Hall on Wednesday 23 February.
The proposal is part of the council’s plan announced in March 2020 to tackle inequalities in employment through working with organisations across Leeds to become a Real Living Wage city, with the pay level being higher than the National Minimum Wage, which rises to £9.50 per hour for those aged 23 and over from the start of April.
As well as for its own lowest-paid staff, the council will provide funding for services commissioned from external providers to ensure those providing homecare are paid the Real Living Wage. This funding is being resourced by the council without any additional government support.
The move reflects the council’s ‘People Strategy’ which began in 2020, which underlines its values to pay the living wage and have a fair and reasonable pay structure, as well as the Unison Ethical Care Charter it signed up to in 2015 and more recently the GMB Charter for Homecare. These charters ensure minimum standards for care at home for both those who receive it as well as the terms and conditions for the workers who provide it.
Leeds City Council’s Deputy Leader and executive member for resources Councillor Debra Coupar said:
“We are delighted to have made this decision ourselves as part of our commitment to tackling inequality by closing the gap in pay and employment in Leeds, as well as helping people with the rising costs of living we are currently experiencing.
“We are especially pleased to be supporting homecare workers, who do vital and amazing work helping our most vulnerable residents in a job which has been incredibly difficult during the pandemic. We hope this pay increase shows how much we value everything they do.
“Despite the challenging financial climate we are in, we remain determined to do everything we can to influence supply chains across Leeds so everyone earns at least the Real Living Wage for the work they do.”
To see Leeds City Council’s ‘People Strategy’ go to the best place to work – our people strategy 2020 to 2025 www.leeds.gov.uk