Newcastle United have been forced to pay the living wage to full-time staff from the 2016/17 season after a meeting of the Premier League clubs on Thursday.
The clubs voted to pay not just the statutory minimum the law says they have to pay, instead enough of them recognised just how bad it would look if were to refuse to do this when the extra billions were recently announced via the new UK rights broadcasting deals.
What about Newcastle’s position, what do you think they had to say at the meeting? You will find the answer below.
The national minimum wage enforced by law in the UK is £6.50 per hour for adults aged 21 and over, with lower minimum amounts legally binding for those who are younger than 21.
The ‘living wage’ is an hourly rate based on the amount needed to cover the basic costs of living – an amount calculated by the Living Wage Foundation, which currently is £9.15 per hour for those living in London and £7.85per hour in the rest of the UK.
Earlier this month this question was asked at the latest NUFC Fans Forum, with the club’s answer below:
‘Does Newcastle United pay all its employees at least the Living Wage?’
“The board said that it does not pay the living wage but it does abide by employment law as per legislation set by the government and pay the minimum wage. The club advised supporters to speak to their local MPs with a view to the government changing the law and raising the national minimum wage if they believed it beneficial for the UK. It was felt that the issue was one for all commerce and society as a whole rather than purely for football….”
So basically the club/Mike Ashley pays what they are legally obliged to and not a penny more, refusing to acceot that they should lead by example and pay their lowest paid staff a wage that means they can do more than exist. This at a time when there has never been more money pouring into football clubs – shameful.
Though this should come as little surprise when you look at how Mike Ashley treats staff in the rest of his empire.
Great news that the full-time staff at Newcastle United and at other clubs are eventually going to get living wage rates but the reality is that most of the staff currently on minimum wage will stay on that, as the vast majority are part-time and won’t automatically get the living wage rate.
As the Newcastle United/Mike Ashley statement at that last NUFC Fans Forum makes clear, the part-time staff will be waiting a long long time before Ashley pays a penny more to them than the law forces him to.