Published: January 10, 2023
2022 was a significant year for Birmingham, not least because it was officially named a Living Wage City.
The accreditation – by the Living Wage Foundation – recognises and celebrates areas where communities and businesses have worked together to address the issue of low pay among its working population.
Birmingham’s announcement follows a campaign by Birmingham City Council to encourage local employers to pay staff ‘a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work’, and Unity Trust Bank was one of 100 Living Wage businesses to actively support the campaign.
It resulted in more than 130 businesses becoming Living Wage employers by the end of 2022 – meaning 60,000 workers in the West Midlands are now paid a minimum of £10.90 an hour.
With our headquarters in Brindleyplace, Unity was the first bank in the UK to be accredited as a Living Wage employer and pay the real Living Wage – a discretionary amount which employers pay over and above the Government’s legal minimum.
Julia Tarpey, HR Director at Unity Trust Bank, said: “As an ethical, commercial bank our mission is to help create a better society. We are proud to be a role model Living Wage employer and believe that all workers deserve a decent level of pay and should not be struggling to make ends meet.
“We were keen to support the council’s campaign and delighted that Birmingham’s efforts have now been recognised.
“A lot of people are struggling at the moment with rising food and energy prices and young people in particular are finding it difficult to live independent lives with housing costs and student loans to pay off, so it’s more important than ever that workers are paid fairly.”
At Unity, we have been supporting our 150-strong workforce through the current economic climate by providing financial counselling and offering hybrid working arrangements which allow flexibility and reduced commuting costs.
Staff also benefit from discounts at a wide range of retailers though Unity’s subscription to Perkbox, a global benefits and rewards platform used by employers.