The Leading News & Information Service For The Facilities, Workplace & Built Environment Community

Monday, 6 July

Ding! Dong! C of E Gets it Wrong

The Church of England has had to face the embarrassment of being accused of hypocrisy when it emerged that it has failed to pay some of its staff less than the Living Wage, even though it has urged employers to commit to it.

The revelation came from The Sun newspaper which found that Canterbury Cathedral had advertised for a kiosk assistant to be paid £6.70 an hour, while only £6.50 was quoted for ‘waiting-on staff’ at Lichfield Cathedral; the Living Wage outside of London is £7.85.

Embarrassment is even more acute because last week the C of E published a 56-page letter setting out its fundamental beliefs to its parishioners where in paragraph 113, it stated:

This is why the Church of England has backed the concept of the Living Wage – an agreement with employers to ensure that all their staff earn a modest hourly rate that is sufficient for a full time worker to live decently. The Archbishop of York has been at the forefront in arguing for the Living Wage. It represents the basic principle that people are not commodities and that their lives cannot adapt infinitely in response to market pressures. The labour market cannot enable people to live and flourish unless the moral limits of the market are recognised.’

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, who as an Old Etonian and oil executive, earning over £100,000 a year, has nevertheless, been a firm believer in the Living Wage and a more just society, has been forced to concede that the examples were “embarrassing….no institution is perfect”.

In a statement, the C of E committed itself to moving towards the ideal of meeting its commitment. ‘The Diocese of Canterbury and the Pensions Board of the Church of England are committed to moving to paying the living wage and hope to be at that point within the next two years. As charities both institutions require time to increase giving levels prior to ensuring delivery of the living wage.’

Picture: £6.70 was quoted for ‘waiting-on staff’ in an advertisement at Cantebury Cathedral – well below the Living Wage outside of London of £7.85.

Article written by Cathryn Ellis


Related Tags

Related Articles

Living Wage Week 2017

Living Wage Week takes place each year during the first week of November. It is a great opportunity to raise awareness of the work undertaken by UNISON and the Living...

 Read Full Article
Round 12 - Name & Shame Minimum Wage Cheats Exposed

On Wednesday 16, 233 employers were named and shamed by The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy for underpaying their workers the National Minimum or...

 Read Full Article
An End to Outsourcing - SOAS' Social Justice and Equality Plan

SOAS University of London is to stop outsourcing its core support services to private contractors from September 2018. The announcement was made by the School of...

 Read Full Article
London Living Wage, Diversity and Training at Heart of TfL Plan

Transport for London has awarded a new cleaning contract to ABM UK meaning 2,800 people will be guaranteed the London Living Wage. ABM has also committed to offer...

 Read Full Article
A Time to Act...and a Time Not to Act

The government is to commence an advertising campaign (launched week ending March 3) to raise lowest paid workers’ knowledge of their rights ahead of the National...

 Read Full Article
Name and Shame Game Sees Biggest Wage Cheats List

More than 350 employers have been named and shamed as the government published the largest ever list minimum living wage offenders on Wednesday 16. More than 15,500 of...

 Read Full Article
In Work Poverty on the Rise

One in every eight workers in the UK - 3.8 million people - is now living in poverty. A total of 7.4 million people, including 2.6 million children, are in poverty...

 Read Full Article
Living Wage Up but 10p Down

The National Living Wage (NLW) is likely to rise to around £7.50 an hour next year, 10p lower than expected in March because of the weaker outlook for pay in the...

 Read Full Article
ISS Cleaners Count Cost of Living Wage

Monday and Tuesday 25 & 26 saw a two-day cleaners' strike by Public and Commercial Services Union members working for ISS at HMRC buildings in Bootle and...

 Read Full Article
Concern for Impact of Living Wage

The cost to employers of implementing the new National Living Wage will be ‘significantly higher’ than official estimates with towns and cities outside of...

 Read Full Article