BURNLEY Council is looking at the possibility of becoming a Living Wage employer to ensure its lowest-paid staff are paid enough to meet the basic costs of living.

The council’s executive will discuss the proposals at its meeting on February 18.

The Living Wage is currently set at £7.45 per hour outside London and is reviewed annually.

Unlike the national minimum wage of £6.19 per hour, the Living Wage is a voluntary undertaking.

Coun Mark Townsend, the executive member for resources and performance management, said: “No-one should have to do a hard day’s work for less than they can live on. We realise times are tight for everyone and we all have to make sacrifices.

“However, that doesn’t mean that Burnley Council, as a responsible employer, shouldn’t take the lead in looking at ways of making sure its lowest paid staff are receiving a reasonable wage.

“We have to make sure the council’s lowest hourly rate is enough for staff and their families to meet the basic cost of living.”

The council employs around 500 staff. A total of 17 temporary or permanent staff, mainly clea-ners, currently earn less than the Living Wage.

A further 29 casual workers would also see their pay packets increase. The cost of moving to a Living Wage is estimated at around £10,000 to the council and would be met from within planned budgets.

Council staff have seen their wages frozen since 2009.