SALISBURY-BASED Wessex Care is now one of only 27 health and care companies in the South West to be accredited as a living wage employer.

Its living wage commitment will see everyone working at Wessex Care receive a minimum hourly wage of £9.90 - higher than the government minimum for over 23s, which currently stands at £8.91 per hour.

The company, which operates in the South West, has been accredited with the Living Wage Foundation.

Christian Airey, the business director at Wessex Care, said: “We believe that everyone should receive fair day’s pay for a day’s work and be properly rewarded for the amazing work they do every day.

"We have been committed to providing high standards for our employees for some time, including the provision of annual salaries for our community care team, instead of zero hour, contact-time-only contracts which are common in the domiciliary sector.

"We hope that this will also help to raise increased awareness of living wage standards and go some way to recognise the true value of health and social care workers."

The real living wage is the only rate calculated according to the costs of living. It provides a voluntary benchmark for employers that wish to ensure their staff earn a wage they can live on, not just the government minimum.

Since 2011 the living wage movement has delivered a pay rise to over 300,000 people and put over £1.6 billion extra into the pockets of low paid workers.

Katherine Chapman, the director of Living Wage Foundation said: “We’re delighted that Wessex Care has joined the movement of almost 9,000 responsible employers across the UK who voluntarily commit to go further than the government minimum to make sure all their staff earn enough to live on.

“They join thousands of small businesses, as well as household names such as Burberry, Barclays, Everton Football Club and many more. These businesses recognise that paying the real Living Wage is the mark of a responsible employer and they, like Wessex Care, believe that a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay."

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