Published on 22/09/2022
Aston University officially accredited as Living Wage Employer
  • The real living wage is higher than the government’s National Living wage
  • It is an independently calculated rate based on the actual cost of living
  • The new real living wage has been announced today by the Living Wage Foundation.

Aston University has been accredited as a real living wage employer by the Living Wage Foundation (LWF).
 
Accredited employers pay the real living wage rate on a voluntary basis. The real living wage is higher than the government’s minimum, or National Living Wage, and is an independently calculated hourly rate of pay that is based on the actual cost of living. It is calculated each year and is announced annually by the Living Wage Foundation.

The announcement of the new real living wage rate has been brought forward from November to 22 September (today) this year in response to the unprecedented rise in living costs. The new rate is now £10.90 across the UK and £11.95 in London.

Aston University’s accreditation from the LWF will allow the University to promote and encourage policies and practices which are an important part of helping its staff to lead fulfilling and rewarding working lives.

Professor Aleks Subic, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Aston University, said:
“I am very proud of Aston University’s commitment to being an accredited Living Wage Employer. 
“Paying the real living wage is the right thing for a good employer to do and is underpinned by both a strong moral and business case. 

“We have been paying our staff the real living wage since 2013, but we are now committed to going further and will apply it to all of our third party contracted staff to make sure that anyone regularly working for Aston University is paid the real living wage.

“By taking this important step, the University is demonstrating our commitment to supporting the city and its citizens as part of our civic agreement.”

Katherine Chapman, director of the Living Wage Foundation, said:
“The real living wage is the UK’s only wage rate independently calculated to meet the cost of living and, for workers struggling to keep their heads above water as prices surge, it’s more important than ever before. That’s why, with the rate of inflation fast approaching double figures, we have brought forward the annual announcement of the 2022-23 living wage rates to 22 September.

“Rising prices are eating away at all of us, but nobody is feeling the pinch more than the 4.8 million low paid workers across the UK. It’s never been more important that employers who can afford it protect those who will be most affected by price rises by paying a wage based on the cost of living.

“We are delighted to welcome Aston University, as the first university in Birmingham to accredit as a Living Wage Employer, to our movement of over 11,000 organisations which voluntarily choose to pay the real Living Wage because they believe that a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay.”

Cllr John Cotton, cabinet member for social justice, community safety and equalities, Birmingham City Council, said: 
“Birmingham City Council is delighted that Aston University has signed up a as real living wage employer. Birmingham suffers from high levels of deprivation with 90% of wards being more deprived than the national average*. Our aim is to make Birmingham a real living wage city where everyone is paid fairly for the work they do. Aston University’s commitment to paying the real living wage is an important step in being a civic university and sends a strong signal to partners and other local employers to follow suit.” 
 

*Indices of Deprivation 2019 and Levelling up: 40% children in Birmingham living in relative poverty as council calls for more help from the government | BirminghamWorld

 

Notes to Editors

About the Living Wage

The real Living Wage is the only rate calculated according to what people need to make ends meet. It provides a voluntary benchmark for employers that choose to take a stand by ensuring their staff earn a wage that meets the costs and pressures they face in their everyday lives.
The UK Living Wage is now £10.90 across the UK and £11.95 in London (to reflect the higher costs of transport, childcare and housing in the capital). These figures are calculated annually by the Resolution Foundation and overseen by the Living Wage Commission, based on the best available evidence on living standards in London and the UK.

The Living Wage Foundation is the organisation at the heart of the movement of businesses, organisations and individuals who campaign for the simple idea that a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay. The Living Wage Foundation receives guidance and advice from the Living Wage Advisory Council. The Foundation is supported by our principal partners: Aviva; IKEA; Joseph Rowntree Foundation; KPMG; Linklaters; Nationwide; Nestle; Resolution Foundation; Oxfam; Trust for London; People’s Health Trust; and Queen Mary University of London.

What about the Government’s national living wage?

In July 2015 the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced that the UK Government would introduce a compulsory ‘national living wage’. It was introduced in April 2016, originally applying for all workers over the age of 25, is currently £9.50 an hour and applies for workers over the age of 23. The rate is different to the Living Wage rates calculated by the Living Wage Foundation. The government rate is based on median earnings while the Living Wage Foundation rates are calculated according to the cost of living in London and the UK.

About Aston University

Founded in 1895 and a university since 1966, Aston is a long established university led by its three main beneficiary groups – students, business and the professions, and the West Midlands region and wider society. Located in Birmingham at the heart of a vibrant city, the campus houses all the University’s academic, social and accommodation facilities for our students. Professor Aleks Subic is the Vice-Chancellor & Chief Executive.

In 2022 Aston University was ranked in the top 25 of the Guardian University Guide, based on measures including entry standards, student satisfaction, research quality and graduate prospects. The Aston Business School MBA programme was ranked in the top 100 in the world in the Economist MBA 2021 ranking.

For media inquiries in relation to this release, contact Nicola Jones, Press and Communications Manager, on (+44) 7825 342091 or email: n.jones6@aston.ac.uk

 

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Sue Smith, Head of Press and Communications
    0121 204 3521
    s.p.smith@aston.ac.uk

Sam Cook, Press and Communications Manager
    0121 204 5065
    s.cook2@aston.ac.uk

Rebecca Hume, Press and Communications Manager
    0121 204 5159
    r.hume@aston.ac.uk

Nicola Jones, Press and Communications Manager
  •  07825 342091
    n.jones6@aston.ac.uk

Alternatively, email pr@aston.ac.uk

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