4 March 2016

Sheffield City Council is building on its reputation as a leading light on the Living Wage by offering a cutting edge business rate to employers in the city.

The move would see Sheffield as the first Core City in the country and the only council in Yorkshire, to offer a business rate discount to firms paying their workers the Living Wage Foundation rate. This is currently £8.25 per hour outside London, £1.05 more than the new minimum wage set by Government which comes into effect in April.

Sheffield City Council became a Living Wage Employer in 2013 and wants more local businesses to join the scheme. It is looking to award up to £500,000 in discounts in a move expected to benefit small businesses and charities in particular.

Councillor Ben Curran, Cabinet Member for Resources at Sheffield City Council, explained:

“This is about people being paid a fair wage for the work they do. It’s a core element of our vision to create are more inclusive and prosperous economy in the city, where ordinary working people benefit.”

“We were one of the first councils in the country to pay our staff the Living Wage & are increasing the number of our contractors that pay the Living Wage. Now we want to do our bit to help businesses and other organisation across Sheffield to do the same.

“We’re developing a new business rate relief to encourage more employers to become Living Wage Employers. Sheffield is a great place to do business and we want to do what we can to help by offsetting the cost of Living Wage accreditation. We will be publishing the full details in the next few weeks.”

The council’s proposals involve offering a discount up to £5,000 off business rates for 2016/17 to up to 100 firms that become accredited with the Living Wage Foundation. The move could see hundreds of local workers receiving a wage boost worth thousands of pounds each year.

The proposals are being developed and the scheme is expected to be introduced early in the new financial year.