Thousands of public sector staff in Dacorum and Herts earn less than living wage

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Thousands of public sector workers in this area are being paid lower than the living wage of £7.65 per hour.

The figure was set to reflect what is needed to maintain a normal standard of living.

It has the backing of David Cameron and Ed Miliband, according to the Living Wage.

But 30 of Dacorum Borough Council’s 820 staff are being paid beneath it – a matter that will be reviewed before the next financial year.

Herts County Council employs 4,412 staff on less than £7.65 per hour – 84 per cent of whom work in schools. The authority’s lowest paid workers earn £6.45 per hour.

Increasing it would put some staff on the same wage as their manages, leading to possible further pay increases. If schools did not follow suit, the council could also face equal pay claims and ‘significant tribunal costs’. All in all, the change could cost £1.7m.

Cabinet member for resources Derrick Ashley said: “Hertfordshire County Council provides all its employees with fair and competitive pay packages.”

He said there were other benefits to working for the authority, like pension contibutions, annual leave, sick pay, discounts on everyday essentials and its childcare voucher scheme.

He also said implementing the living wage could add between seven and 10p a day to school meals.