Nearly 100 of the lowest paid staff at Merseyside Police will receive a pay rise following a decision to adopt the real living wage.
A total of 97 staff, many of whom are cleaners, are set to receive extra money in their pay packets, backdated to 1st April, to ensure all staff within both Merseyside Police and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner receive the real living wage as a minimum.
The move ensures those on the lowest paid roles within the force will earn a minimum of £8.89 per hour, or the equivalent of £16,923 per year, effectively removing the lowest pay scale from the existing staff salary structure used by both organisations. For full-time staff, this is worth an extra £444 per year.
The UK living wage is voluntary and is calculated by the Living Wage Foundation based on what people need to live. It is currently set at £8.75 per hour.
Deputy Police Commissioner Cllr Emily Spurrell said: “I’m proud that we have taken the decision to ensure both the Commissioner’s office and Merseyside Police are real living wage employers, joining a growing list of local employers who are helping to ensure fair pay for their staff.
“The staff of Merseyside Police are extremely hard working and it is only right that hard working people earn a decent wage that they can afford to live on. It shows that, as an employer, you value the people who work for you. Fair pay at work doesn't just help our employees but is good for the regional economy too - that extra money will boost businesses throughout Merseyside.
“With ever-increasing pressures on household budgets and, at a time when the cost of living is rising, it’s essential that employers in the North West play their part in helping people to support their families and have a good quality of life.”
Chief Constable Andy Cooke said: “It is only right that we should do everything possible to ensure that our lowest paid staff receive the real living wage as an absolute minimum, and I would hope that other organisations will following suit and show the same appreciation for their employees.
“In the last few years officers and staff throughout the force have faced increasingly hard and challenging times. We have lost officers and staff across the board and are expecting less people to do more, because we have less resources and at the same time their pay has remained static over recent years and has not been in keeping with inflation. By adopting this approach hopefully we can show our lower paid staff that they are appreciated.”
The current real living wage of £8.75 per hour is based on the real cost of living. It is different to the government’s National Minimum Wage of £7.38 an hour for employees aged 21 to 24 years old and £7.83 for those aged 25 and over. The real living wage is independently-calculated each year, based on what employees and their families actually need to get by.
The rate is announced in November each year and employers are expected to implement any rise as soon as possible, and at least within six months.