Everton have become just the second Premier League club to pay all of its staff the Living Wage - a wage that reflects the cost of living in the UK.
After a two-year ‘engagement process’ The Toffees have signed up with the Living Wage Foundation, which calculates the amount employees and their families need to live rather than the Government minimum requirements.
The current Living Wage for the UK outside London is calculated at £8.45 an hour - 17% higher than the government minimum for over 25s which is £7.20 per hour.
The result is that 250 matchday staff will receive a payrise to meet the Living Wage requirements while over the next three years more than 700 contractors will also be paid more in order to meet the LWF guidelines.
It means Everton join Chelsea as the only Premier League clubs to pay all of its staff, including contractors and agency staff, the Living Wage.
Indeed only three other football clubs in the UK - Luton, Derby and Hearts - are also fully signed up with the LWF.
With footballers earning millions of pounds per year and the new TV deal swelling the coffers of football clubs still further, there is really no excuse to pay everyday staff low wages.
Football clubs have come under increasing pressure in recent years to do more for both their fans and workers given the amount of cash swilling around in the division.
The £30 cap on away ticket prices was a welcome boost for supporters while this latest news is just reward for the club’s frontline staff.
Everton Deputy Chief Executive and Director, Professor Denise Barrett-Baxendale, said:
“Here at Everton we are committed to being a first choice employer and becoming Living Wage accredited is a natural step towards that. We have been working hard behind the scenes and consulting with our staff and stakeholders; it is extremely important to us that we treat all of our colleagues well and reward people fairly in terms of their pay. Supporting the accredited Living Wage is quite simply the right thing to do; it improves our employees’ quality of life but also benefits our business and society as a whole.
“Becoming accredited is only one element of our ‘People Plan’ which has also seen us review our grading structure and we are working towards launching a new rewards and recognition programme as well as introducing greater flexibility to our employee benefits scheme.”
Katherine Chapman, Director of the Living Wage Foundation added:
“We are delighted that Everton Football Club have become the second Premier League football club to sign up as a Living Wage employer, ensuring that all their staff - from caterers to match day staff - receive a real Living Wage that covers the cost of living.
“By putting more pounds in the pockets of their staff, Everton are signing up to a win-win scenario that rewards a hard day's work with a fair day's pay. I congratulate Everton and hope other football clubs will take their lead and follow suit.”