Living Wage & Water Companies (EDM 1185)

I appreciate many would like to see every water company pay the Living Wage Foundation's 'Living Wage'. The Living Wage Foundation currently set this at £8.25 per hour and it is down to individual employers to decide whether or not to pay it.

I am generally supportive of efforts that encourage employers to pay employees a higher wage, especially if they can afford to do so. However, I believe that paying the voluntary Living Wage rate should remain the independent decision of each employer based upon their own financial position. Therefore, I will not be signing the EDM.

People who work hard in any role deserve to earn enough to have a decent standard of living and I am delighted that a new National Living Wage (NLW) has been introduced by this Government. As of 1 April, it is now compulsory for all employers to pay employees aged 25 and over the new rate of £7.20 per hour.

The Low Pay Commission will set out how the NLW will reach 60 per cent of median earnings by 2020 and based on forecasts this means it will reach £9 by 2020.

As a result of the NLW, 1.3 million lower-paid workers will get a direct pay rise - the biggest jump in a minimum wage in any advanced economy since the financial crisis. The NLW will also mean that those currently working on the minimum wage will see their pay rise by a third over this Parliament which is a cash increase for full-time workers of over £5,000.