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The Living Wage Foundation is pleased to announce that Middleton Hall Retirement Village, in County Durham, has become the first accredited adult social care provider in the North East to become a Living Wage employer.

The Living Wage commitment will see everyone working at Middleton Hall Retirement Village, near Darlington, regardless of whether they are permanent, on a short-term contract or casual employees receive a minimum hourly wage of £7.85 – significantly higher than the national minimum wage of £6.50.

The Living Wage is an hourly rate set independently and updated annually. The Living Wage 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.

When asked why Middleton Hall had decided to become a Living Wage employer, Jeremy Walford, managing director, said:

“We have invested millions of pounds in creating the best possible facilities in the retirement village but the reason our clients recommend Middleton Hall all the time is because of our extraordinary team of employees.

“We’re a people business through and through and our vision to be the best retirement village in the UK will only be achieved by investing in people as well as buildings.

“The social care and hotel sectors do not always have a good reputation as places to work. Middleton Hall has had an investor in People Gold Award for the last five years as we truly understand the importance of looking after our staff. The Living Wage will ensure that we are also offering leading pay rates in the region and help attract the very best people to work at the retirement village.

“I feel that it’s our responsibility as a leading business in the sector to ensure that we’re valuing staff in all ways and that includes financially.”

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.

Living Wage Foundation Director, Rhys Moore said: “We’re delighted to welcome Middleton Hall Retirement Village to the Living Wage movement as an accredited employer.

“The best employers are voluntarily signing up to pay the Living Wage now. 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.

“We have accredited more than 1,800 leading employers, including Middleton Hall Retirement Village, ranging from independent printers, hairdressers and breweries, to well-known companies such as Nationwide, Aviva and SSE. These businesses recognise that clinging to the national minimum wage is not good for business. Customers expect better than that. “

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