Co-operative Bank becomes Living Wage employer

'Research shows that workers receiving the Living Wage have better morale, less absenteeism and greater productivity'

Co-operative Bank becomes Living Wage employer

The Co-operative Bank has announced that it has become an accredited Living Wage employer.

Consequently, all workers at the bank, including security guards, cleaners and others employed by contractors providing regular and ongoing services, will be paid no less than the Living Wage.

The Living Wage is currently $21.15 per hour, $3.45 more than the current minimum wage of $17.70, set by the Government. The minimum wage will rise to $18.90 on 1 April.

The Living Wage is the hourly rate a worker needs to pay for life’s necessities and actively participate in the community.

It reflects the basic expenses of workers and their families such as food, transportation, housing and childcare. It’s calculated independently, each year, by the New Zealand Family Centre Social Policy Unit.

The Co-operative Bank’s People & Culture General Manager, Sarah Able, said the organisation values all their people as they all play a vital role in the daily running of the bank.

“We’ve paid our own people the Living Wage for some time. Now we’re extending this to our key contractors, including cleaners, security guards and maintenance workers,” said Able.

“Research shows that workers receiving the Living Wage have better morale, less absenteeism and greater productivity, which are just more reasons for us as an employer to support paying the Living Wage.”

As a bank, our mission is to do right by people, and for us this is simply the right thing to do. We encourage the banking sector and other corporates to join us in paying a Living Wage, added Able.

Living Wage Movement Aotearoa New Zealand Accreditation Co-ordinator, Felicia Scherrer, said the Co-operative Bank coming onboard shows the Living Wage Movement is on a roll.

“The Co-operative Bank joins Westpac, ANZ and AMP as significant corporates in the banking and financial services sector who are now accredited Living Wage employers,” said Scherrer.

“More than 170 New Zealand employers are now paying a Living Wage. They know it’s good for their workers, good for the economy and also good for business.

“We congratulate The Co-operative Bank on becoming a Living Wage accredited employer and call on other corporates to do the right thing and join the movement.”

FIRST Union Secretary for Retail, Finance and Commerce, Tali Williams said the union’s members are very pleased to know that all of their contractor colleagues at The Co-operative Bank will now be paid a Living Wage as they are.

“This announcement shows again that it is both possible and practicable for banks to extend living wages to all workers – including contractors – and it now falls to the last remaining banks in New Zealand to reach this standard, because there is no excuse not to pay the Living Wage in 2020.”

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