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Penzance to benefit from living wage accreditation

Penzance to benefit from living wage accreditation

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 7:00am 14th March 2020. (Updated at 8:14am 14th March 2020)

A Cornish town could become the first living wage accredited town in England. 

Local business owners in Penzance, the Chamber of Commerce and Cornwall Council have joined forces to help business owners and employees to earn a fair salary. 

The government's 'national living wage' is not calculated according to what employees and their families need to live. 

Instead, it is based on the cost of living and is voluntarily paid by nearly 6,000 UK businesses and organisations. The current rate is set at £9.30, a pound more than the minimum amount set out by the UK Government

The benefits for businesses paying a living wage include a reduction in staff turnover and sickness, an improvement in morale and productivity and potentially more money spent locally, boosting the economy. 

“We are delighted to be working with a and supporting a group of dedicated employers in West Cornwall, who have clearly identified the benefits of paying the Real Living Wage.  The project is very much in it’s early stages, but the passion and commitment being shown so far is excellent.” 

Leader of Cornwall Council, Councillor Julian German

In 2015 Cornwall Councillors pledged to adopt the Living Wage Foundation rate rather than the minimum wage as the lowest rate of pay for all directly-employed staff. Work is now underway to extend the scheme to the contractors we work with, ensuring their staff are also paid at the higher rate.

“The plan is ambitious; to substantially increase living wage jobs not just in in the Penzance area, but across Cornwall.  We know the transformative effect the real Living Wage has on people and their families. The leadership shown by local employers and councillors is an example for others to follow. 

“Cornwall is one of the poorest areas of Northern Europe and historically, has seen some of the lowest wages. So, I am delighted that Cornwall Council is taking a leading role in trying to change this.”

Councillor Julian German

It’s hoped that under the plans key local employers will become involved in the pilot project such as schools, GP practices, care homes and the hospital.  The pilot will also be extended to include businesses in Newlyn, Mousehole, Heamoor and Gulval.

“I am proud of the work being done by local employers and the commitment they are showing to achieving Real Living Wage accredited status.

“Not only is this great for local employees, there is a lot of evidence to show the impact this can have - not only on those receiving the additional money, but the wider financial benefits for the whole community.  And although this is in the early stages, the drive and commitment is there to make this a massive success.”

Independent Councillor for Penzance East, Tim Dwelly

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