Manchester City Council

Agenda item

Agenda item

Living Wage Accreditation Update

Report of the City Treasurer

 

This report provides an overview of background information for the Council in considering potential accreditation as a living wage employer.

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report of the City Treasurer, which provided an overview of background information for the Council in considering potential accreditation as a living wage employer.

 

Officers referred to the main points and themes within the report, which included: -

·                The Council had, for a number of years, recognised and encouraged the need for a minimum level of pay, not only for its own staff but also for the business community in general;

·                Accreditation as a Living Wage employer and promotion of the Real Living Wage to partners and suppliers across the City supported various strands of the Our Manchester Strategy;

·                The ‘real’ Living Wage had grown in prominence over recent years and a range of local authorities including Birmingham, Cardiff and Salford had now achieved formal accreditation as ‘living wage employers’;

·                The Council had developed a formal Living Wage Policy in September 2015 which sought to implement Living Wage payment as far as it possibly could, using the Living Wage Foundation criteria as a guide; and

·                Based on work over recent years the Council is in a strong position to successfully meet the Foundation Accreditation threshold; and

·                There were a number of considerations which needed to be taken into account in becoming a Living Wage Accredited Employer, which included the effect on assuring payment to the employed workforce and more significantly the commissioned workforce.

 

Some of the key points that arose from the Committees discussions were: -

 

·                There was mild disappointment with the length of time taken to progress this work;

·                What were the costs and risks associated with achieving accreditation status;

·                Lessons should be learnt from other authorities that had achieved accreditation status;

·                A communication strategy needed to be launched once accredited status had been awarded;

·                Once accredited the Council should seek to become an influencer within the city and the region in regard to the Living Wage, and

·                The need to upskill employees.

 

The Head of Workforce Strategy advised the Committee that discussions were still currently ongoing with the Living Wage Foundation and these included the issues raised by Members. In response to a query on next steps, he advised that three months’ would be a reasonable time period to progress this work to a firm recommendation and action plan in relation to progressing accreditation. The Committee recommended that an update report is provided to the Committee for the May meeting. He informed the Members that accreditation required a clear plan to be in place to assure payment through contracts, with this plan being aligned to contract review points over a three year period.

 

The Head of Workforce Strategy advised that reports on workforce development had previously been submitted to the Human Resources Subgroup for consideration.

 

The City Treasurer commented that the Living Wage had presented challenges and financial implications in respect of social care contracts, however she noted that the benefits of this were a stable work force that contributed to improved quality of care.

 

Decision

 

The Committee recommends that an update report be submitted for consideration at its meeting in May 2019.

 

Supporting documents: