Vera Baird DBE KC

Writer, Lecturer, Parliamentary Consultant and Co-Director of Astraea: Gender Justice

PRESS RELEASE: Commissioner Baird celebrates Living Wage Week.



Commissioner joins the celebrations for Living Wage week

Northumbria Police is joining in with the Living Wage celebrations this week after almost a year as an official Living Wage employer.

Living Wage week, which this year runs from November 2 to 8, will again celebrate Living Wage employers and the employees who benefit.

The Living Wage is different to the minimum wage and is based on the amount someone needs to earn to cover the basic cost of living.

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird said: \”I\’m delighted the force is now able to join the celebrations of this unique club which has widespread political and business support.

\”As the force celebrates being an official Living Wage employer for nearly a year, I\’ve been able to see first hand the difference implementing this policy has made.”

There are now around 750 employers accredited by the Living Wage Foundation, committing them to pay the Living Wage to employed and subcontracted staff and the Commissioner added: \”I\’m delighted Northumbria Police is an official Living Wage employer.\”

When the cleaners, who in the past were sub-contacted to Northumbria Police, were brought in house they received an extra £1.15 an hour – for an average contract of 20 hours a week.

\”This is an extra £100 a month in the pay packet and shows how we value all our employees and the work they do and that everyone is part of \’Team Northumbria\’,\” Vera Baird said.

She added: \”I\’ve always been an advocate of the Living Wage and as we’re in Living Wage Week, it’s now a good time to encourage other employers to come on board.  

\”In the current economic climate we must do everything we can to help those on the minimum wage. If you value people, you have to show it and I believe that giving a decent wage is important.

\”Currently 5.2 million people in the UK are paid less than the Living Wage with women and young people disproportionately affected.

\”Living Wage week is an ideal time for other businesses to sign up – it\’s morally right and makes good business sense too.

\”I\’m confident this time next year even more north east businesses will be accredited as Living Wage employers.\”

The photograph shows Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird with one of the force cleaners Derek Bellis at Forth Banks.