Hampshire County Council to debate paying staff living wage

Lowest paid council staff to get living wage?

Lowest paid council staff to get living wage?

First published in News
Last updated
Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

WAGES for the lowest paid staff in Hampshire County Council could be in for a boost as bosses mull over paying them at a higher rate to raise living standards.

An influential committee will today debate the pros and cons of introducing the ‘living wage”, based on how much a parent of two, with a partner earning the same, needs in order to avoid the effects of poverty.

If it wins support from the Tory-led council it would mean more than 4,000 staff, including care and school support staff, would have their hourly rates raised to £7.45.

Already Eastleigh Borough Council and Southampton City Council have signalled they are ready to introduce the wage boost in a bid to reduce poverty.

But a report for the employment in Hampshire County Council committee warns it would not be without costs.

It states that the £1.5m price tag of introducing it would squeeze out 71 jobs.

Yet the report sets out benefits too. This is based on research by the Living Wage Foundation, which found that 80 per cent of employers believe it boosted the quality of work among staff and that there was a 25 per cent fall in absenteeism.

This comes after research by Citizens UK, who are campaigning for every worker in the country to be able to earn enough to provide their family with the essentials of life, found there were 90,000 people in south Hampshire being paid less than the living wage.

In Southampton, 16,000 staff – almost one fifth across the city – earn less than £7.45 per hour, the key figure.

That proportion is much higher in the worst-hit areas.

In Gosport, 27 per cent of people earn under the living wage, the Isle of Wight has 24 per cent under this number and Eastleigh has 21 per cent.

The living wage is calculated by the Centre of Research in Social Policy at Loughborough University and is £7.45 an hour for adults compared to the current minimum wage of £6.31 an hour.

Comments (7)

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6:06am Wed 12 Mar 14

FoysCornerBoy says...

Way to go, Hampshire! Its nice to see the County Council taking a lead from Southampton which was the first local authority in the South of England to pioneer the Living Wage for its staff.
Way to go, Hampshire! Its nice to see the County Council taking a lead from Southampton which was the first local authority in the South of England to pioneer the Living Wage for its staff. FoysCornerBoy
  • Score: 3

7:06am Wed 12 Mar 14

skeptik says...

Don't they get expenses, crikey even MPs get housing benefits on second pads, handy that, they can earn a shilling renting out one of the others - Bingo! play politics and get 25 grand PA free to play with. PS, Claim you free perks with every game.
Don't they get expenses, crikey even MPs get housing benefits on second pads, handy that, they can earn a shilling renting out one of the others - Bingo! play politics and get 25 grand PA free to play with. PS, Claim you free perks with every game. skeptik
  • Score: -6

8:30am Wed 12 Mar 14

elvisimo says...

would the increase not be offset by savings in benefits - if so great plan.
would the increase not be offset by savings in benefits - if so great plan. elvisimo
  • Score: -3

12:02pm Wed 12 Mar 14

From the sidelines says...

If staff wanted to earn more, shouldn't they have tried a bit harder at school?
If staff wanted to earn more, shouldn't they have tried a bit harder at school? From the sidelines
  • Score: -10

12:48pm Wed 12 Mar 14

gilbertratchet says...

From the sidelines wrote:
If staff wanted to earn more, shouldn't they have tried a bit harder at school?
This would explain why there are absolutely no unemployed university graduates, then.
[quote][p][bold]From the sidelines[/bold] wrote: If staff wanted to earn more, shouldn't they have tried a bit harder at school?[/p][/quote]This would explain why there are absolutely no unemployed university graduates, then. gilbertratchet
  • Score: 10

3:20pm Wed 12 Mar 14

beekay says...

skeptik wrote:
Don't they get expenses, crikey even MPs get housing benefits on second pads, handy that, they can earn a shilling renting out one of the others - Bingo! play politics and get 25 grand PA free to play with. PS, Claim you free perks with every game.
What exactly do you suggest school lunchtime supervisors claim expenses for?
[quote][p][bold]skeptik[/bold] wrote: Don't they get expenses, crikey even MPs get housing benefits on second pads, handy that, they can earn a shilling renting out one of the others - Bingo! play politics and get 25 grand PA free to play with. PS, Claim you free perks with every game.[/p][/quote]What exactly do you suggest school lunchtime supervisors claim expenses for? beekay
  • Score: 2

10:12pm Wed 12 Mar 14

tootle says...

All kidology anyway. If the powers that be in Westminster want a living wage then the tax threshold should be raised above the NMW level. With no tax on a minimum wage a worker keeping his wages would be £4.00 worse off than a man earning a "living wage"Based on 40 hour working week) and being taxed as at present. Fix the tax system first before taxing employers and, in this case, Council taxpayers.
All kidology anyway. If the powers that be in Westminster want a living wage then the tax threshold should be raised above the NMW level. With no tax on a minimum wage a worker keeping his wages would be £4.00 worse off than a man earning a "living wage"Based on 40 hour working week) and being taxed as at present. Fix the tax system first before taxing employers and, in this case, Council taxpayers. tootle
  • Score: -1

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