Council leader Marie Burns has urged firms across the area to support their staff through the current cost-of-living crisis by committing to pay the Real Living Wage.

As Living Wage Week gets under way from Monday, November 14, the council leader said it was more important than ever for companies to look after their employees.

As part of Living Wage Week 2022, the council leader visited 1st Alliance Community Bank in Kilwinning and North Ayrshire Women’s Aid, both of whom support their staff by being Accredited Real Living Wage Employers.

Cllr Burns said: “Paying the Real Living Wage is important at any time, but The current cost-of-living crisis has really brought home the importance of paying staff a wage they can genuinely live on. Staff are the most important assets a company or organisation can have and paying them the Real Living Wage shows that they are valued and supported.

“It was a pleasure to visit 1st Alliance Community Bank and Women’s Aid who are both Real Living Wage employers. They have no doubts about the benefits - staff morale and productivity is better because it shows their employers care about them, and it also makes it easier to retain staff.

“They also recognise it’s the right thing to do, allowing them to treat staff with dignity and compassion.”

Living Wage Week - the annual celebration of the Living Wage movement across the UK – runs this year from November 14-20.

North Ayrshire Council has paid the Real Living Wage since 2011 and once again this year has committed to paying its staff the new rate of £10.90 per hour.

Alongside 1st Alliance Community Bank and Women’s Aid, the Council is one of more than 11,000 organisations businesses who believe their staff deserve a fair day’s pay for a hard day’s work.

Amanda McLaughlan, of 1st Alliance Community Bank, said: “We believe you should put your money where your mouth is. We help people day in day out with their money to assist them to become more financially secure and financially aware and what better way to ensure our staff are financially secure than by being a Living Wage and Living Hour employer.”

Mary Beglan, of North Ayrshire Women’s Aid, said: “It’s about doing the right thing and making sure the people who come to work here can have a reasonable quality of life themselves. It’s important to us our staff feel valued and know that their contribution matters. Our staff believe in what they do but it’s also good for them to know they are also supported in the right way.”

The Living Wage is an independently calculated figure which is updated annually to reflect the basic cost of living in the UK.

According to the Living Wage Foundation, independent research on employers who have introduced the Living Wage has shown increases in employee productivity, greater staff retention and reduced sickness absence, and improved levels of morale, motivation and commitment.

To find out more about the Real Living Wage, visit