Brighton & Hove Living Wage Commission

What is a living wage?

Living wage logoA living wage is a minimum hourly wage that takes into account certain basic costs of living. This is a voluntary commitment by employers, separate from the statutory National Minimum Wage.

Establishing a living wage for Brighton & Hove is a huge step forward in tacking inequality in the city.  At the same time, it is important to stay focused on the need to promote the competitiveness of businesses that offer jobs to local people.

In October 2011, a Living Wage Commission for the city was established by the council. Public, private and voluntary sector representatives and trade unions in Brighton & Hove worked together to consider the benefits and challenges of establishing a living wage for the city.

Find out more about the council's commitment to the living wage.

What was the role of the commission?

The commission looked at:

  • What hourly rate would represent a living wage for the city
  • Whether agreement could be reached across the city on the benefits of introducing a living wage
  • How a living wage could affect employers

The commission met on a number of occasions between October 2011 and March 2012. Agenda, minutes and papers of these meetings are available.

It was guided by its Terms of Reference [PDF 31KB]. This is a document that describes the purpose and structure of the commission.

The commission talked to key sectors, including the business and community and voluntary sectors, before presenting its findings to the Brighton & Hove Strategic Partnership and the council’s cabinet in May 2012.

Findings and recommendations of the commission can be found in its Final Report [PDF 83KB].

Who was part of the Living Wage Commission?

The Brighton & Hove Living Wage Commission was chaired by Julia Chanteray, who is also chair of the city’s Chamber of Commerce.  Working alongside Julia were:

  • A cross-party group of councillors, backed by senior council officials, including:
    -   Councillor Bill Randall, Leader of Brighton & Hove City Council (Green Group)
    -   Councillor Geoffrey Theobald OBE, Leader of the Opposition (Conservative Group)
    -   Councillor Gill Mitchell, Leader of the Labour & Co-operative Group
  • Chair of the city’s Hotel Association
  • Representatives of Sussex Police and the local NHS
  • Representative of the University of Brighton
  • Trade union representatives
  • Representatives of the city’s community and voluntary sector
  • Representative of Brighton & Hove Albion FC
  • Director of the national Living Wage Foundation

The commission also benefited from the expertise of Donald Hirsch, a leading authority on the Minimum Income Standard for the UK.

How can I find out more?

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