Press Release – Westminster receives Living Wage Accreditation

NEWS RELEASE

5 October, 2016 

TWO CAMBRIDGE EMPLOYERS EARN LIVING WAGE ACCREDITATION AHEAD OF LIVING WAGE WEEK

WESTMINSTER College and Radmore Farm Shop have become the latest employers in Cambridge to earn their Living Wage accreditation from the Living Wage Foundation.

The accreditations were announced ahead of this month’s Living Wage Week, when Cambridge City Council will find out whether it has won a Living Wage Champion Award, for which it has been nominated.

The council supported Westminster College and Radmore Farm Shop through the process of applying for accreditation from the Living Wage Foundation, which means both pay at least the voluntary UK Living Wage to all their staff.

Employers choose to pay the Living Wage on a voluntary basis. The nationwide Living Wage campaign has been promoted in the city by Cambridge City Council since 2014, as part of its anti-poverty strategy.

The campaign’s aim is to encourage employers to pay staff more than the national minimum wage of £7.20 per hour for staff aged 25 and over. The Living Wage Foundation’s rate is calculated each year to reflect the true cost of living and is currently set at £8.25 an hour outside London.

Westminster College is a theological college affiliated to the University of Cambridge, which trains students for ministry in the United Reformed Church, as well as being a venue for events such as business conferences and weddings.

College Principal, Rev. Neil Thorogood, said: “Christianity, along with so many traditions, deeply values individuals as made in God’s image and worthy of the deepest respect and celebration. As a college of the United Reformed , Westminster is built upon and guided by such values. The Living Wage, and this accreditation, demonstrates that commitment and encourages us to be the very best employer we can be. I am delighted that we have been affirmed in this way as we seek to help all of our staff flourish in our community.”

Radmore Farm Shop, on Chesterton Road at Mitcham’s Corner, is a family-run food shop that has been selling produce from local suppliers, including the proprietors’ own family farm, since 2006.

Ben Aveling who manages the shop with wife Vicky, said: “In a small business like ours, we rely on friendly service and staff that our customers know. Therefore it is vital that we keep our staff and let them know they are valued, so they can deliver the best possible service and enjoy their jobs.”

More than 2,700 companies in the UK are now accredited as Living Wage employers, including 48 in Cambridge.

Living Wage Week takes place from 31 October to 4 November. During the week there will be a series of events and activities, including the announcement of the new Living Wage rate for 2017-18, and winners of the Living Wage Champions awards, for which the council has been nominated.

Cllr Richard Johnson, Executive Councillor for Communities, said: “I’m delighted that the council has been shortlisted for a Living Wage Champion Award, and that two more employers – Westminster College and Radmore Farm Shop – have been accredited.

“Living Wage Week is a great opportunity for even more employers and employees to find out why the Living Wage is such an important campaign, especially in a city like Cambridge where the cost of living is high.

“Paying a Living Wage isn’t just beneficial to employees – it also benefits the employers themselves, as the evidence suggests that it improves staff motivation and retention, and really boosts an organisation’s ethical reputation.”

“I’d encourage everyone to come and find out more about the Living Wage during Living Wage Week.”

Ends

Notes for editors

  1. Contacts:
    Cllr Richard Johnson (Labour group), Executive Councillor for Communities, email: richard.johnson@cambridge.gov.uk, tel: 07712 129529
    Cllr Zoe O’Connell (Liberal Democrat group), Opposition spokesperson, email: zoe@complicity.co.uk, tel: 07932 679179
    Cllr Oscar Gillespie (Independent/Green group), Opposition spokesperson, email: oscar.gillespie@cambridge.gov.uk, tel: 07851 820806.
    Andrew Limb, Head of Corporate Strategy, email: andrew.limb@cambridge.gov.uk, tel: 01223 457004
    David Kidston, Strategy and Partnerships Manager, email: david.kidston@cambridge.gov.uk, tel: 01223 457043