Jersey construction firm latest to gain living-wage status

Ben Cairney, founder and managing director of Ashbe, with Caritas chief executive Patrick Lynch (PICTURE: Ashbe) (36739644)

A CONSTRUCTION firm has become the first in Jersey to gain accreditation as a living-wage employer.

Ashbe Construction, which was founded in 2016 and now has more than 50 full-time employees, has joined tens of other companies in the Island to achieve recognition for paying its staff a wage that takes into account the cost of living.

The Living Wage rate for 2023 is £12.19 per hour and its aim is to ensure that a worker receiving the rate, topped up by in-work benefits, earns enough to be able to live with dignity and to thrive, not just survive within the Jersey community.

Ben Cairney, founder and managing director of Ashbe, said he was “extremely proud” to be the first construction company in Jersey to be awarded “this amazing accreditation”.

He continued: “As a family-run business, I believe we have a duty to ensure all our staff are able to earn a fair wage for a fair day’s work so they in turn can support their own families, especially in a time of such economic uncertainty.”

Patrick Lynch, the chief executive of charity Caritas, which is licensed by the Living Wage Foundation in the UK to manage the promotion of a Living Wage in Jersey, added: “A huge amount of work has gone in over many months to ensure all their subcontractors are compliant and we applaud the determination to complete the exhaustive process.

“As we approach autumn and winter and with the cost-of-living crisis showing no sign of loosening its grip on the Island, a Living Wage is absolutely vital.” He further said that the new minimum-wage commitment by the government, announced earlier this week, was still below the current Living Wage, and encouraged all employers to join the Jersey Living Wage Campaign.

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