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Kier Harlow short-listed for Living Wage award

Business / Fri 3rd Oct 2014 at 12:15pm

KIER Harlow has been short-listed by the Living Wage Foundation for the Living Wage Champion Awards 2014 in the East of England region.

The awards recognise Living Wage employers that have made great contributions to communities and industries by implementing and celebrating the Living Wage.

The Living Wage Foundation offers a recognition mark for employers that commit to paying the Living Wage. There are now over 900 accredited employers.

Kier Harlow, a joint venture company between Harlow Council and Kier Services that provides services to more than 10,000 Council properties and maintains the town’s streets and green spaces, received the status in August 2014. Harlow Council attained Living Wage Status in May 2013.

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.

Kier regional operations director, John Phillips, said: “This is excellent news for the joint venture. Following Harlow Council’s lead we are the first company in Harlow to achieve this status and we hope other local businesses will follow. At Kier, we are dedicated to providing the very best opportunities for our employees, as well as investing in the communities in which we work.

“Our commitment to the Living Wage standard is just a small step in recognising the vital contribution our staff make to the local community and our company.”

Councillor Jon Clempner, Leader of Harlow Council, said: “I am very proud that Kier Harlow has been shortlisted for a Living Wage Champion award. Kier Harlow is a major employer in the town who also work with a number of other contractors. We are hopeful that more businesses in the town will follow the Council’s and Kier Harlow’s lead, and improve the pay of low-paid workers by paying a Living Wage. We want Harlow to become a Living Wage town and therefore this is an issue we will continue to champion. The Living Wage makes a huge difference to people living and working in the town and helps make Harlow a fairer place.”

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.

Living Wage Foundation director, Rhys Moore, said: “I would like to send huge congratulations to Kier Harlow on being short-listed for the Living Wage Champion Awards. The commitment of Living Wage Employers to responsible pay makes a real difference to families and communities across the country. We look forward to celebrating this even further when announcing the winners of the Awards during Living Wage Week.”

The Award Winners will be announced during Living Wage Week 2014 (2 – 8 November 2014) with one winner announced for 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 are judged by an independent panel of community leaders from the Citizens UK Living Wage campaign.

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