Luton Town have announced they have been awarded full accreditation as a Living Wage employer by the Living Wage Foundation.
The Living Wage commitment will see everyone working at Kenilworth Road, regardless of whether they are permanent employees or third-party contractors and suppliers; receive a minimum hourly wage of £7.85 - significantly higher than the national minimum wage of £6.50.
“We’re delighted to have been given full accreditation which will help ensure a fair level of pay enabling a better work-life balance to all our staff.”Gary Sweet, chief executive
The Hatters were the first team in the Football League to commit to paying the Living Wage when they made their announcement last December, shortly followed by Chelsea in the Premier League.
The Living Wage is an hourly rate set independently and updated annually. It is calculated according to the basic cost of living using the ‘Minimum Income Standard’ for the UK.
Decisions about what to include in this standard are set by the public; it is a social consensus about what people need to make ends meet.
Town’s chief executive Gary Sweet said: “We announced in December that we had already started to pay the living wage to all contracted staff and we were extremely proud to become the first professional club in the Football League to make this step.
“We’re pleased that we can now add all our match-day and casual staff to this list, from catering assistant to programme seller!
“We’re delighted to have been given full accreditation which will help ensure a fair level of pay enabling a better work-life balance to all our staff.
“We hope that in making this commitment, other teams, especially those further up the football pyramid with far bigger budgets than ours will follow suit.
“This announcement, along with our support for the Luton Foodbank and our recent initiative to rename Kenilworth Road as the ‘Prostate Cancer UK Stadium’ for our match against Wycombe helps to demonstrate that, as a club, we understand the important part we play in the local community and the responsibility football clubs have to a better society.”
Employers choose to pay the Living Wage on a voluntary basis. The Living Wage enjoys cross party support, with public backing from the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition.
Gavin Shuker, Labour and Cooperative MP for Luton South, said: “I’d like to congratulate Luton Town Football Club on their full accreditation by the Living Wage Foundation. Once again the club are showing their commitment to the community of Luton, and by leading the way in professional football by paying a fair rate of pay to all of their staff.
“I would encourage any business to follow their lead in adopting the living wage - a move which can make a real difference to their employees”.
Rhys Moore, director, Living Wage Foundation said: “We are delighted to welcome Luton Town FC to the Living Wage movement as an accredited Living Wage employer. It has been a pleasure working with Luton Town to reach this stage.
“Their commitment to the Living Wage is clear, and I’m sure they will be a champion of the Living Wage across the football and sports sector, as well as in their local community.
“At a time when over half of those living in poverty are also working, the Living Wage is one way leading employers are helping to tackle in-work poverty.
“The Living Wage is a robust calculation that reflects the real cost of living, rewarding a hard day’s work with a fair day’s pay.”