JE becomes a Living Wage Employer
Power against poverty: Patrick Lynch (left) Caritas, Jersey CEO, presents JE Director of Human Resources with the Living Wage Employer plaques
Jersey Electricity has been accredited as a Living Wage Employer. It is the second Island utility company to join the voluntary accreditation scheme that aims to play a part in eradicating poverty in Jersey.
JE’s 300-plus permanent employees are all paid in excess of the Living Wage already, currently £10.55 an hour. JE joined the scheme earlier this year and having reviewed its contractors, is pleased to now confirm that all are signed up to the Living Wage, too.
Unlike the minimum wage of £8.32 per hour, the Living Wage rate is not a legal requirement in Jersey. The aim of the Living Wage is to make sure that a worker receiving the Living Wage, topped up by in-work benefits, is able to meet basic living costs.
The Living Wage is calculated to cover the basic essentials of living, including housing, food and transport.
JE Director of Human Resources, Andrew Welsby said: ‘As a large inclusive employer we are committed to the wellbeing of our people and creating a great place to work. As an essential service provider, our business touches everyone in the Island. We feel we have a great social responsibility. We not only want to ensure those we do business with pay their people enough to enjoy a basic standard of living, but also lead by example and encourage other businesses to improve the living standards of all Jersey’s lowest paid.’
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.
Former States Deputy, Jennifer Bridge leads The Jersey Living Wage Campaign Team. She said: ‘We are delighted that JE has been successful in their application for accreditation. We recognise that JE was already paying its staff at least the Living Wage and are pleased that it has now extended this to sub-contractors. The Living Wage is about thriving and not just surviving. It enables workers to have the opportunity to play a greater part in our community life by being paid fairly to work reasonable hours.
‘Our campaign is currently focusing on lifting the wages of sub-contractors such as cleaners, security guards and other outsourced workers. We have seen a growing appetite in Jersey to do business ethically and a desire to play a part in reducing poverty. Now that we have a number of large well-known businesses behind the campaign, we look forward to others following suit.’