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Real Living Wage accreditation would formalise the University's approach to paying the Real Living Wage to its lowest-paid staff members and extend it to contract workers.

Accreditation will give our lowest-paid staff, including our on-site contractors, more security because their wage will be set by reference to the Real Living Wage benchmark.

Professor Eilís Ferran, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Institutional and International Relations

The University of Cambridge will re-inforce and extend its commitment to paying the Real Living Wage (RLW) by seeking formal accreditation from the Living Wage Foundation, if a proposal submitted today is approved.

The University currently pays all directly employed University staff at or above the level of the Real Living Wage and has done so since 2014. Today’s announcement means the University has agreed to begin the formal accreditation process from the Living Wage Foundation in the current academic year, once the proposal is approved.

This shows a public commitment to paying at this level, and in addition, extending this commitment to contractors who regularly work on University premises. Although the University is seeking accreditation in this academic year, the process may take up to three years to complete.

The move comes after extensive consultation across the University, including with unions and Cambridge University Student Union.

Professor Eilís Ferran, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Institutional and International relations, said: “We know that Cambridge is an expensive city to live and work in. The university is a community and it values all staff.  Accreditation will give our lowest-paid staff, including our on-site contractors, more security because their wage will be set by reference to the Real Living Wage benchmark.

Cambridge University Student Union (CUSU) President Daisy Eyre said: “All of the workers at this University contribute to our education and deserve to be paid fairly. I am so proud of the work done by students campaigning for this and happy that the University will be taking this step. I believe that this will benefit the institution for years to come. By accrediting to the Living Wage Foundation, we are building a legacy in which future generations of Cambridge staff are guaranteed a decent wage.”

 

 

Further information

The Real Living Wage (RLW), also known as the Voluntary Living Wage, is an hourly rate of pay set independently by the Living Wage Foundation (https://www.livingwage.org.uk/), which is updated annually in November.

It is calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK. The RLW is currently £8.75 per hour for employers outside London and £10.20 per hour for employers within London.

The University is already paying the outside London rate to its employees and temporary workers, but is doing so on an informal basis.

The effects of the Grace would therefore be twofold: (i) a commitment to the payment of the RLW, as set by the Living Wage Foundation, as an accredited employer; and (ii) extending the payment of the RLW to contractors and subcontractors.

The Grace will be approved at 4pm on 23 February 2018 if there is no request for amendment or a ballot.

Published

08 February 2018

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People