Scarborough Council is about to hand its staff a pre-Christmas boost after its cabinet voted in favour of paying its employees the living wage.
Councillors unanimously voted to grant its lowest paid employees an hourly wage of £7.45.
The council’s lowest earning employees are currently paid 13p per hour above the national minimum wage, which stands at £6.31 per hour and is mandatory under government legislation,
The living wage is designed to reflect the actual cost of life to working people and, in theory, will help improve their financial situation.
Council leader Tom Fox said he was pleased the cabinet had voted in favour of implementation.
He said: “I have long been in favour of bringing in the living wage for the council’s employees and when this issue goes before full council I will be recommending that the increase is back dated to July.”
The report that went before the cabinet said that if the council brought in the living wage it could encourage other businesses in the borough to do the same.
The council decided to bring in the living wage after discussions with trade unions and it is estimated that the cost to the council over the course of a financial year would be around £32,000.
Some members of staff had raised concerns, it was noted in the report to cabinet, that the increase in the hourly wage could impact on benefits some people would be receiving, as it could push them over the thresholds set by government.
It was concluded that as benefits are worked out on individual circumstances it was not an issue for the council.