01 August 2012>
Caerphilly County Borough Council's Cabinet has supported the introduction of the Living Wage and recommends to council that the proposals be implemented from 1st October.
The council, one of the largest employers in the South Wales valleys, set out ambitious plans to eradicate the problem of those living below the poverty threshold in the area – starting by ensuring that council employees are paid a minimum of £7.20 per hour.
Following the Cabinet meeting, Cllr Harry Andrews, Leader of the Council said, "This is a historic decision which fits in with our vision to tackle poverty and improve living standards for our lowest paid employees. We want to ensure that none of our workforce earn below the minimum wage and this move would show we are making a stand for the 3,000+ employees on low wages, the majority of whom are female, frontline staff".
He continued, "This is one of the most significant decisions that we are likely to take and I hope there will be overwhelming support when the issue is considered at Full Council in the near future".
While the primary benefits of the proposals are to ensure all employees wages are increased above the poverty line, other benefits evidenced from research include a reduction in absenteeism, easier recruitment and retention and improved morale, motivation and commitment.
Cllr Keith Reynolds, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member with responsibility for Corporate Services added, "I have great pleasure in supporting this proposal as it forms an important part of our wider regeneration plans for the whole county borough. The vast majority of our workforce live within the area so the benefits of this scheme will be far reaching. We will also work hard to promote the Living Wage as a minimum standard that other employers should now adopt and follow our lead".
The proposals, having been supported by Cabinet, will now be taken to a meeting of Full Council later this month for approval.
A full copy of the report, entitled 'Implementation of the Living Wage' can be found at www.caerphilly.gov.uk
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