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Sussex Community NHS Trust employees first to be given living wage
A community trust has become the first NHS organisation in Sussex to be accredited as a Living Wage Employer.
This means Sussex Community NHS Trust will ensure all of its staff are paid a minimum of £7.45 an hour.
The Living Wage is an hourly rate that ensures working people on the lowest incomes achieve an improved standard of living for them and their families.
All trust employees who earned below £7.45 have now received a rise to top up their pay, backdated to June 1.
The wage will also apply to all new employees who join the trust.
The change has cost the Brighton-based trust, which has an annual wage bill of £133 million, around £24,000.
The trust provides a wide range of medical, nursing and therapeutic care to more than 8,000 adults, children and families a day.
Staff expected to benefit from the changes include healthcare, occupational therapy and physioherapy assistants, porters, nursery nurses, childcare workers, clinic and hospital receptionists, ward clerks, grounds maintenance and gardening staff and administration workers.
Director of human resources and organisational development, Caroline Fox, said: “We recognise and value the work carried out by all our staff and we’re delighted to have achieved accreditation as a Living Wage employer.
“We employ more than 4,000 staff across Brighton andHove and West Sussex and this accreditation reinforces our commitment to increase thewellbeing of our staff.”
Ngaire Cox, the staff side chairman representing trade unions at the trust, said: “The implementation of the living wage recognises the hard work of staff who work in ancillary roles, especially at a time of economic hardship.
“We hope this will support future recruitment and retention of our staff to make us an employer of choice.”
The Living Wage is calculated in line with the basic cost of living in theUKand reviewed every year.
The trust now joins Brighton and Hove City Council, which has already been accredited as a Living Wage employer.
The city also has an active Living Wage campaign, which calls on businesses to voluntarily pay all employees at least £7.45 an hour.
Around 89 companies and organisations have signed up so far.
More details can be found at livingwagebrighton.co.uk.
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