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Winner of the West Midlands Living Wage Champion Award 2014

Press Releases Published: November 25, 2014 5:38 pm

Unity Trust Bank has been chosen as the winner of the Living Wage Champion Awards 2014 for the West Midlands region.

The awards, coordinated by the Living Wage Foundation, recognise Living Wage Employers that have made great contributions to communities and industries by implementing and celebrating the Living Wage.

The awards are part of Living Wage Week 2014, a national celebration of responsible pay, running from 2nd-8th November.

Unity Trust Bank, the specialist bank for the social economy, was the first Living Wage accredited bank and joined the accreditation in April 2013.

Living Wage Foundation Director, Rhys Moore said: “Congratulations to Unity Trust Bank on being named the Champion Award winner for the region. With 1,000 employers now accredited, it is wonderful to have Unity leading the way in the West Midlands. The leadership of responsible employers is making a real difference to families and communities across the UK. Thank you very much for celebrating the Living Wage.”

Unity Trust Bank Chief Executive Officer Richard Wilcox said:

“We are a socially responsible bank founded on strong social values, so becoming a Living Wage employer was a natural step for us. We believe that all of our employees should receive a fair wage they can live on. We are proud to have been the first Living Wage accredited bank and will continue to play our part in promoting the values of the Living Wage as part of our wider commitment to delivering positive social change in the communities we support.

“We are extremely proud to be recognised for promoting the Living Wage across our sector and community, and encourage other employers across the West Midlands to show responsibility and commitment to their staff by ensuring they receive a fair wage.”

Ben Jordan, who works in Unity’s new accounts team, is one member of staff positively impacted by the Living Wage accreditation.

Ben Jordan said: “I value working for an organisation that demonstrates it cares about its staff through paying and promoting the Living Wage. With day-to-day costs like train fares rising, it is reassuring to know that my salary will rise fairly in line with increasing living costs, and this gives me confidence in my own financial stability. Joining a Living Wage employer means I have been able to leave my second job, which I needed to be financially independent, and have now improved my work-life balance.”

The Living Wage Foundation offers a recognition mark for employers that commit to paying the Living Wage. There are now over 1,000 accredited employers.

The Living Wage is an hourly rate set independently and updated annually. The Living Wage is calculated according to the basic cost of living using the ‘Minimum Income Standard’ for the UK. Decisions about what to include in this standard are set by the public; it is a social consensus about what people need to make ends meet.

Employers choose to pay the Living Wage on a voluntary basis. The Living Wage enjoys cross party support, with public backing from the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition.

One Champion Award winner has been named in each region of the UK: Scotland; Wales; Northern Ireland; the East Midlands; the West Midlands; the East of England; Yorkshire and the Humber; North East England; North West England; South East England; South West England; and London.

The awards were judged by an independent panel of community leaders from the Citizens UK Living Wage campaign. In total 75 organisations were shortlisted for the awards.

The Living Wage Foundation is pleased to announce the new Living Wage rate for the UK at £7.85 per hour, which will see over 35,000 workers increase their take home pay.



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