Decision Maker: Cabinet
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: No
Councillor Tahir Rafiq, the Cabinet Member for Corporate Affairs and HR, presented the report which sought Cabinet’s approval to implement the necessary steps to pay the living wage and progress formal accreditation via the Living Wage Foundation. It included a detailed analysis of projected costs over future years and set-out the proposed approach to meeting these costs.
Members were supportive of the report, noting in particular the uplift this would give to carers and their families, giving them the recognition, support and thanks they deserve. In response to Members’ questions, it was noted that when contracts were being procured or renewed this would be part of those discussions. The Council was setting a standard it would hold to during commissioning negotiations, it would take an appropriate view dependent on the individual circumstances.
1. Agreed that an additional payment should be made to Council employees at grades 1 to 4 via a non-consolidated supplement to align the Council’s lowest point of pay for substantive employees to the Real Living Wage and that this change should be backdated to April 2021 and reviewed annually as part of the Council’s Pay Policy Statement. (Section 3.1);
2. Agreed that the Council should seek to apply the above changes to staff employed in Local Authority maintained schools and commend payment of the Living Wage to other Bury schools. (Section 3.1);
3. Agreed that the lowest point of pay for agency staff engaged by the Council should be aligned with the lowest point of pay for substantive Council employees and hence the Living Wage. (Section 3.1);
4. Agreed the model for application of the Living Wage to commissioned Adult Social Care staff over a three-year period and ongoing maintenance of this payment. (Section 3.2);
5. Agreed that the Council should seek to ensure application of the Living Wage to other commissioned providers in-scope through the contract review process over the coming three years. (Section 3.3);
6. Agreed that the Council should look to formally commend payment of the Living Wage to its partners and other employers within the borough. (Section 3.4);
7. Noted the overall projected cost of Living Wage accreditation over the next five years of £5.487M and agree that the required funding as yet to be identified of £3.585M be built into the Council’s Medium Term Financial Strategy (Section 4); and
8. On the basis of the detail contained within this report, agreed to progress formal accreditation as a Living Wage employer.
Reasons for the decision:
As part of the 2021/22 budget setting process, Council agreed that work should progress with the aim of working towards the organisation becoming an accredited Living Wage employer. In agreeing to this work, Council recognised the significant impact Living Wage accreditation could bring through the Council’s role as an employer and commissioner within the borough as well as through the Authority’s position as a wider civic influencer.
Other options considered and rejected:
None; this report reflects detailed work over recent months to develop a robust approach to payment of the Living Wage for both staff and providers.
Publication date: 02/09/2021
Date of decision: 01/09/2021
Decided at meeting: 01/09/2021 - Cabinet