04 September 2019
A plaque is to be unveiled in the Government of Jersey’s Broad Street reception area to mark its decision, announced last year, that the government would lead the way as a good employer by adopting the Living Wage Foundation accreditation.
Chief Minister, Senator John Le Fondré, said: “I am pleased to be officially signing up to the living wage on behalf of the Government of Jersey. We already pay our own staff good salaries but we will now work towards all contracts being compliant, so the cleaners and grounds staff that work regularly on our premises receive the Living Wage for their work.
“We also plan to promote the Living Wage further afield, leading by example and encouraging other Jersey organisations to sign up.”
The Living Wage is now a requirement for Government of Jersey contracts where the service is carried out on Government premises for more than 2 hours a day, or more than 8 hours a week, for 8 consecutive weeks. Existing contracts are being updated as they are renewed, with a final target date of August 2024.
The Jersey Living Wage Campaign Team Leader, Jennifer Bridge, said: “I am thrilled that the Government of Jersey has adopted the living wage. We champion the living wage as we want all members of our community to have the opportunity to live with dignity and, especially those on the lowest wages, to climb out of poverty and thrive within our community.”
The Chief Minister will unveil the plaque on Friday 6 September, and as well as Miss Bridge, he will be accompanied by the Chair of Caritas, Mark Lewis, and its Chief Executive Officer, Patrick Lynch. They will be highlighting the significant role played by Caritas in this initiative.
Figures from Statistics Jersey found that approximately 19% of all households find it difficult to cope financially. In couples with children this figure rises to 25% and in single parent households this proportion goes up to 44%.
The Living Wage for Jersey has been calculated as £10.55 per hour. It’s designed to cover essentials like housing, food and transport.
Jersey’s minimum wage is increasing to £8.02 per hour in October and the States Assembly has agreed to move towards a minimum wage that is 45% of mean average income by the end of 2020.
Living wage rates take into account the cost of living, taxes and the value of benefits available to working families on low incomes. Its aim is to make sure that, on average, a worker receiving the living wage rate, topped up by in-work benefits, is able to meet basic living costs.
Living Wage clauses are included in Government of Jersey Standard Terms and Conditions.
Caritas Jersey has been licensed by the Living Wage Foundation in the UK to manage and co-ordinate the promotion of a ‘Living Wage’ in Jersey.
Caritas set up an Advisory Committee consisting of the Dean of Jersey, the Superintendent of the local Methodist Church, trade unionists, politicians and community leaders. The committee consulted widely and approved a rate of £10.55 for 2019, which is equivalent to the London living wage rate at that time.
Companies that agree to become Living Wage Employers do so on a voluntary basis.