NORTH Ayrshire Council has committed to paying its staff the new Living Wage five months early.

To mark the start of Living Wage Week – the new rate of £9.00 per hour was announced, a rise of 25p per hour on the current rate of £8.75.

And although the new Living Wage rate is not due to be adopted by businesses and organisations until April 2019, the Council has committed to applying this rate of pay from 5 November, 2018.

The Leader of North Ayrshire Council, Joe Cullinane, said: “If we want to reduce inequality and poverty across North Ayrshire, then we have to lead by example.

“Earning the real Living Wage can make a huge difference to people’s lives. Not only is paying employees a wage that supports a decent standard of living an ethical and responsible thing to do, but there are also clear benefits.