Comment from Lincoln Living Wage

Lincoln Living Wage logo

The City of Lincoln Council has started a local campaign to raise the profile of the Living Wage and encourage businesses in Lincoln to pay staff a decent rate. Here, James Wilkinson, Principal Policy Officer at City of Lincoln Council, explains why they started a local campaign for the Living Wage. 

With more than half of households in poverty in the UK being working households, low-income is a challenge for many people. At City of Lincoln Council, we adopted the Living Wage and became registered with the Living Wage Foundation in 2013. The result was 39 of our lowest paid members of staff benefited from more than £1 an hour extra.

We saw the benefit this made to our staff, and to us as an organisation, and we had an ambition for more organisations to pay the Living Wage in Lincoln. With a group of like-minded organisations in the city, we formed the Lincoln Living Wage Forum.

The Lincoln Living Wage Forum met for the first time on 19 January 2015. It is made up of partners from the private, voluntary and public sectors. Its aim is to steer the local Living Wage campaign, and encourage more organisations in the city to commit to paying their employees a minimum of £7.85 an hour.

By paying the Living Wage, local organisations are entitled to become accredited with the Making Lincoln Living Wage campaign. Accredited organisations will benefit from positive publicity, and will receive an electronic logo, and window sticker to display on premises entrances.

There are three elements to our accreditation process:

  • Organisations must pay all staff aged 21 and over the Living Wage (£7.85 per hour)
  • Enhanced optional accreditation is also available to those organisations whose main suppliers pay the Living Wage to all staff aged 21 and over
  • Enhanced optional accreditation is also available to those organisations who ban the use of zero hour contracts (with the exception of relief contracts where the employee can freely turn down hours)

Why we have a campaign

We firmly believe there is a strong economic case to paying the Living Wage

  • It gives local consumers more disposable income
  • It brands the city as a modern and attractive place to live, work and do business
  • It expresses an organisation’s commitment to shaping the future of Lincoln

There is a strong business case to paying the Living Wage

  • It can lower rates of staff turnover
  • It can result in substantial cost savings on recruitment and induction training
  • It can reduce staff absence and sickness levels
  • It can increase staff morale and generate higher productivity
  • It brands an organisation as an ethical employer

And, there is a strong social case to paying the Living Wage

  • More than half of households in poverty are working households
  • One in four children in Lincoln live in low-income households
  • One in five workers in the city are estimated to earn below £10,120 per annum
  • Tens of thousands of food parcels are provided by Lincoln food banks each year

Our plan going forward

Our campaign has four key phases. The first phase was the launch of the campaign. We are now in the second economic phase, where we are promoting the economic and business benefits of the Living Wage. Phase three will promote the social benefits of the Living Wage. The final phase will provide positive publicity for Living Wage employers.

We have recently written to our 800 largest businesses to promote the Living Wage, and encourage them to become accredited with our campaign. More employer engagement will follow over the coming weeks and months, as we encourage many more organisations to pay the Living Wage.

For more information on the Making Lincoln Living Wage campaign, please visit, and follow @lincolnvpoverty on Twitter. For any further information, or to get in touch with a member of the Lincoln Living Wage Forum, please contact:

James Wilkinson, Principal Policy Officer, City of Lincoln Council | 01522 873325

To find out more about the work we do at Brighton & Hove Living Wage Campaign, get in touch at