By Andrew Holt

NAVCA has become an accredited Living Wage employer, becoming the first national voluntary sector umbrella charity to do so.

By being a Living Wage employer, NAVCA will ensure that staff, including regularly contracted staff, are paid the Living Wage (currently £7.20 per hour outside London and £8.30 per hour within).

The Living Wage campaign was launched by the charity London Citizens in 2001.

In the ten years since its launch, the campaign has become a powerful force for. Initially dismissed as idealistic and impossible it is now recognised as a compelling cause which offers benefits to workers, employers, and to wider society.

The campaign has cross party support and has been called "an idea whose time has come", by David Cameron.

Joe Irvin, NAVCA chief executive, said: “NAVCA supports this campaign because it tackles poverty, which is at the heart of what NAVCA is about. Paying the living wage lifts families out of poverty and improves quality of life.

"Research also shows that it is good for the businesses that support it, as it leads to improved quality of work, reduced absenteeism and improved employee recruitment and retention.”

“But NAVCA will do more than just sign up to the campaign. We are committed to encouraging all NAVCA members to join this campaign and also to promote it among the 160,000 local charities that our members support.”

Rhys Moore director of the Living Wage Foundation said: “We are delighted to award NAVCA the Living Wage Employer Mark and welcome the leadership role they are taking on this issue.

"The Living Wage is a recognised sign of good practise in employment. The Living Wage offers a range a of business benefits as well as providing a framework for organisations to be good citizens by tackling the issue of in work poverty head on.”

NAVCA will ask their members to work with their local statutory partners on the Living Wage campaign.

NAVCA believes the voluntary sector will be in a much stronger position to promote this campaign if funders also understand the value of paying the Living Wage.

A good example of this partnership work comes from Islington, where the local NAVCA member, Voluntary Action Islington and Islington Council are working together on the Living Wage.

Mike Sherriff, chief executive of Voluntary Action, added: "For us paying the London Living Wage is part of our mission to engage and support the most excluded members of our community. This is not just something we are committed to ourselves but also want to encourage other voluntary organisations to do too."

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