North East housing provider North Star Housing Group is celebrating having been accredited by The Living Wage Foundation as a Living Wage employer.
The Living Wage commitment will see staff at North Star receive a minimum hourly wage of £7.85, regardless of whether they are permanent employees or third-party contractors and suppliers – this is significantly higher than the national minimum wage of £6.50.
The Living Wage is an hourly rate set independently and updated annually. The Living Wage is calculated according to the basic cost of living using the ‘Minimum Income Standard’ for the UK. Decisions about what to include in this standard are set by the public; it is a social consensus about what people need to make ends meet.
Carole Richardson, assistant director of people services at North Star Housing Group, said:
“I’m proud to be part of an organisation that recognises the importance of paying the Living Wage to all its staff.
“All North Star’s directly-employed staff are paid at least the Living Wage. We have also written to all our contractors to establish whether they currently pay the Living Wage, or if they would be willing to implement the Living Wage for their staff. The Living Wage Foundation will be working with us to put a plan in place to achieve this over the next three years.
“North Star was recently awarded Gold Level Investors in People and has been ranked 14th in the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For list. Our commitment to paying the Living Wage is another step in establishing ourselves as being a great place to work in the region.”
Employers choose to pay the Living Wage on a voluntary basis. The Living Wage enjoys cross party support, with public backing from the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition.
Living Wage Foundation Director, Rhys Moore said: “We are delighted to welcome North Star Housing Group to the Living Wage movement as an accredited employer.
“The best employers are voluntarily signing up to pay the Living Wage now. The Living Wage is a robust calculation that reflects the real cost of living, rewarding a hard day’s work with a fair day’s pay.
“We have accredited over 1,000 leading employers, including North Star, ranging from independent printers, hairdressers and breweries, to well-known companies such as Nationwide, Aviva and SSE. These businesses recognise that clinging to the national minimum wage is not good for business. Customers expect better than that. ”
As well as providing affordable housing across the North East and North Yorkshire, Stockton and Barnard Castle-based North Star Housing Group has a strong sense of corporate social responsibility, actively supporting and funding local community projects, in order to help local neighbourhoods to develop and become more resilient.