Northumbria Police and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) have been accredited as living wage employers.
The living wage, which is currently set at £8.80 per hour in London and £7.65 per hour across the rest of the UK, is an hourly rate set independently by the Centre for Social Policy at Loughborough University.
The main beneficiaries of this accreditation will be a number of cleaning staff who are in the process of being transferred from their current employer to Northumbria Police as the force brings its building cleaning service in-house.
They were not paid the living wage by their former employer, but will receive the living wage once their employment transfers to Northumbria Police.
Vera Baird, Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “Although the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and Northumbria Police’s pay structures already meet the living wage criteria, there were staff employed by an external contractor who were not receiving the living wage, and I didn’t believe it was right to call the OPCC and the force living wage employers if those staff were not being paid the living wage.
“In the current economic climate, it is imperative that we do everything we can to help the low paid. By being a living wage employer we are playing our part in helping people who are facing rising costs of living.”
Rhys Moore, director of the Living Wage Foundation, added: “The benefits the living wage brings to staff and business are clear.
“We are so thrilled to see the leadership shown by Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird on this important issue.
“We look forward to working with Northumbria Police to celebrate the living wage and inspire many other employers and police forces to follow [its] lead.”