LOW PAID council workers in North Yorkshire could be set for a wage increase as councillors consider introducing a living wage.
While all Hambleton Council workers are paid more than the national minimum wage, some are paid less than the living wage - the amount considered by experts needed to meet a minimum standard of living.
Councillors will decide next week whether to sign up as a living wage employer.
However, they have been warned that they will be committing themselves to annual increases in pay as the new living wage rate is set each November by experts at the Centre for Research in Social Policy.
Councillors have also been told that to adopt the formal living wage would commit the authority to only agreeing contracts to provide services with companies that also pay it - potentially excluding local firms.
Members of Hambleton Council’s Cabinet will therefore consider an alternative approach, the creation of the “Hambleton Living Wage”.
This would see low paid workers given an additional payment to match the living wage without tying the authority into long term commitments on pay increases or restricting its dealings with other companies.
It is estimated the cost of either option to the council would be around £85,000 in the coming financial year.
If adopted, the council will start to pay the living wage from April 1.
The current living wage for workers outside London is currently £7.65 per hour compared to the national minimum wage for adults over the age of 21 of £6.31.