Norfolk’s sight loss charity has been accredited as a Real Living Wage Employer, as part of its commitment to attracting and retaining the best people to ensure it delivers high quality services to vision impaired people in the county.
Vision Norfolk, which employs 36 people across the county has committed to paying staff the Real Living Wage as defined by the Living Wage Foundation – currently £10.90 a hour outside London, compared to the statutory ‘National Living Wage’ (formerly known as the National Minimum Wage), which currently stands at £10.42 an hour for those aged 23 and over.
The charity, which supports vision impaired people to live independent and fulfilled lives, made the commitment as part of its strategic aim to ‘retain and attract expert, passionate and motivated staff’.
Vision Norfolk chief executive Andrew Morter said, “Our staff are at the heart of everything we do – they are our greatest asset and are the key to our success.
“In recognition of this, we have committed to putting our workforce at the very centre of our approach, encouraging a ‘people first’ culture where we value people’s experiences and wellbeing.
“Ensuring that they are paid enough to meet their actual cost of living, rather than simply paying the minimum wage, is a central part of achieving that aim, and provides our staff and their families with greater security during these particularly difficult times.
“Organisations such as ours can invest a lot of time and money into staff wellbeing programmes, but if people are not earning enough to cover their basic costs of living, their wellbeing will always suffer. I believe that committing to the Real Living Wage should be the starting point for any staff wellbeing strategy.
“In order to deliver the kind of high quality services which we aspire to for our clients, we need to continue employing the best people, and ensuring that they are valued. How much they are paid is a central part of doing that.”
Vision Norfolk plans to actively support the Norwich Living Wage City Action Group (NLWAG), an alliance of local businesses, charities and public sector organisations which have made the commitment to be Real Living Wage Employers.
Daniel Childerhouse, CEO of Future Projects and a member of NLWAG, said, “We are delighted to welcome Vision Norfolk to the Norwich Living Wage Action Group as an accredited Living Wage employer.
“This move shows real leadership in the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector. We really appreciate the particular challenges that this sector faces, and we know it can be difficult to make such a commitment in the current environment – But Vision Norfolk has shown that it is both possible and desirable to do so.
“We applaud the trustees and management of the charity for making this commitment, which will translate into even better quality services being delivered to vision impaired people in Norfolk
“When the Norwich Living Wage Action Group signed off our plan to tackle low pay in September 2022, we set an ambitious target to reach 140 accredited employers by 2025, and the addition of Vision Norfolk takes us closer to our vision of fair pay for Norwich.”