Business leaders will celebrate the benefits of paying the real Living Wage, which is different from the government’s new national minimum wage premium for over-25s (sometimes dubbed ‘living wage’) because it is voluntary for employers and linked annually to the real cost of living. 

The government yesterday (Monday) announced that the Living Wage will rise from £7.85 per hour to £8.25.

MK Dons Sport & Education Trust is the 14th employer in Milton Keynes to achieve accreditation from the Living Wage Foundation as a Living Wage employer. 

In a presentation on the pitch before MK Dons’ home game against Hull City on Saturday, SET chief executive John Cove received a certificate from Debbie Wilson, Living Wage campaign leader for Citizens:mk.   

Mr Cove (pictured) said: “As soon as we knew that it was a viable option for the MK Dons SET, we worked towards becoming an accredited Living Wage employer. We hope this goes a small way to showing our appreciation to everyone within our organisation.”

Law firm Dentons is hosting a Living Wage Business Breakfast for MK’s accredited Living Wage employers and others at their offices on Midsummer Boulevard from 8.30am on Thursday (November 5). 

At the event, KMPG will launch a new Living Wage Employers Network and a strategy for increasing the number of accredited Living Wage employers in the city.

Karen Robson, head of cost management and procurement at Santander, said: “The wellbeing of our employees, both direct and indirect, is paramount to the success of our organisation, as well as our goal to being a bank that is simple, personal and fair.

"This is why we decided last year to become an accredited Living Wage employee.”

Julia Upton, chief executive of MK Community Foundation, which achieved Living Wage accreditation in 2014, added: "Our Vital Signs 2015 report shows that, despite MK’s business success, many MK workers remain poor. 

"We are delighted that MK’s voluntary sector organisations have led the way with Living Wage accreditation and hope more private sector companies will now sign up so more workers are paid fairly.”

Milton Keynes Council has committed to become a Living Wage employer. Council leader Cllr Pete Marland said: “It is only right that every worker gets a decent day’s pay for a decent day’s work.  Milton Keynes should become the first Living Wage city.”

Living Wage campaign leader Debbie Wilson said: “Our campaign is going from strength to strength and we are already half way towards creating MK’s first Living Wage Zone at the Pinnacle Building on Midsummer Boulevard. 

"For us it is important that MK’s fantastic business success remains linked to fair pay for all its workers. We need more businesses to go beyond the legal minimums.” 

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