From 1st April 2015 Ashford Borough Council’s employees will be paid a minimum of £8.00 per hour and apprentices will receive 15 pence per hour above the National Minimum Wage (NMW). The changes were approved as part of a new pay policy which was agreed at last night’s Cabinet meeting (Thursday 12th March).
The announcement coincides with National Apprenticeship Week (9th to 13th March 2015) designed to celebrate apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on individuals, businesses and the wider economy.
In July 2013 the council expressed its commitment to support its lowest paid staff by introducing the Ashford Living Wage Allowance (ALWA), it was decided that this discretionary pay supplement should be ‘even better’ than the National Living Wage.
The council has continued to demonstrate this commitment by increasing the ALWA each year to a level that exceeds the national living wage figure. From April the council will be making its ALWA £8.00 per hour – 15 pence per hour more that the national living wage (which is currently £7.85), and £1.50 more than the national minimum wage for someone over 21 (£6.50).
To build on this pledge to its lowest paid staff, and on its commitment to support and provide good quality apprenticeships, the council are also proposing that their apprentices should be paid the Ashford Apprentice Wage Allowance (AAWA) that is the equivalent of 15 pence above the national minimum wage for their age.
Cllr Gerry Clarkson, Leader of Ashford Borough Council, said: “Once again Ashford is leading the way. We are setting an example to others and sending a message that we care about and value our employees, and that we want to attract, local talented individuals to come and work for us.
“With a growing local economy and great forthcoming opportunities on the horizon with significant local projects coming to fruition it is only right that the council provides opportunities for young people to enter the employment market and help them on their way to fulfilling careers.”