Decision details

Pursuit of Accreditation by the Living Wage Foundation to be a Living Wage Employer

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


To consider accreditation through the Living Wage Foundation


Consideration was given to a report of the Strategy, Partnerships & Policy Manager (Corporate) and the Strategic Reward & Recognition Lead which sought approval to apply for Living Wage Accreditation and to note the cost of becoming and remaining accredited. A further report would come to a future meeting of the Cabinet and would include the proposed milestone plan, and full procurement and future financial implications.


The Cabinet were informed that the ambition for Oldham was to build an inclusive economy, with thriving communities and co-operative services. Oldham would be a place where everyone had a fair and real chance to access opportunities and improve their own lives. It would strive for an ambitious and socially mobile borough through making significant progress in living standards, wages and skills for everyone. As a major local employer, the Council was able to set an example demonstrating its aspirations and values.


The Living Wage Foundation recognised and celebrated the leadership shown by Living Wage employers across the UK. The aim was to increase the number of employers in the UK who were recognised for paying their staff the Living Wage. The Living Wage was an hourly rate set independently and updated annually. This was UK wide and announced in November of each year during Living Wage Week. The current rate for the Living Wage was £9.00 per hour (announced in November 2018). This rate was above the Government’s current National Living Wage of £7.83 per hour (£8.21 from April 2019).


Members were informed that improving wages played a significant role in building an inclusive economy, therefore the Living Wage was an important tool because it provided a level of pay that adequately allowed workers to provide for themselves and their families. As such, the Living Wage could help

tackle inequality. Paying a Living Wage could also boost the local economy by giving workers more money to spend on goods and services.


Members noted that, if the Council decided to apply for formal accreditation, it would require providers/suppliers to the Council, including sub-contractors, to all pay the Foundation Living Wage, in addition to that rate being paid for directly employed staff.


Phased accreditation recognised that full compliance could not be made at the outset, and the Council would have three years to achieve it, which was in line with the approach that other Councils had taken. The report included roposals to develop a three-year milestone plan with an ambition to secure full compliance within that time.


Options/Alternatives considered:-

Option 1 - Make an application to be a Living Wage employer

Option 2 - Not make an application to be a Living Wage employer (although continue to pay our directly employed staff the appropriate hourly rate from April each year)



1.     Oldham Council’s application for Living Wage Accreditation be agreed, and the detailed work would proceed, with a further report to be presented back to Cabinet including the proposed milestone plan, and full procurement and future financial implications.

2.     The annual cost of £480 to be paid to the Living Wage Foundation to become and remain accredited be noted. The detail of this would be included in the next Cabinet report as part of the overall implementation proposal.

Report author: Heather Moore

Publication date: 29/01/2019

Date of decision: 28/01/2019

Decided at meeting: 28/01/2019 - Cabinet

Effective from: 06/02/2019

Accompanying Documents: