Workers should be paid a fair wage - Murphy

Date published: 16 November 2021

Finance Minister Conor Murphy has announced the Executive has secured accreditation as a Living Wage Employer.

Finance Minister, Conor Murphy with Graham Griffiths, Assistant Director Living Wage Foundation and Jayne Brady, Head of the Civil Service

The Living Wage Foundation calculates the minimum hourly rate needed to give a full-time worker and their family a reasonable standard of living. Yesterday (15 November), the Living Wage Foundation announced the new minimum hourly wage of £9.90. This compares to the legal minimum wage of £8.91.

Speaking at an event attended by trade unions, Living Wage employers and community & voluntary organisations to mark Living Wage Week, Minister Murphy said:  “Many people in poverty are in work so if we want to tackle poverty we have to tackle low pay. Accreditation means the Executive is committed to paying civil servants at least the Living Wage. This commitment will also apply to new contracts for people who work in civil service buildings which will impact on staff providing security, catering, and cleaning services.”

Highlighting how the Executive has gone further than what is required to secure accreditation Minister Murphy added: “Each year government spends around £3bn buying goods, services, and construction work from the private sector. It’s important this spending power is used for the good of society. Therefore from June next year any company delivering services for government will have to pay staff working on that contract the Living Wage. This is transformative and will benefit thousands of workers in the private sector.”

Welcoming the Executive’s commitment to the Living Wage, Graham Griffiths, Assistant Director at the Living Wage Foundation said: “We’re delighted the Northern Ireland Executive has joined the movement of over 9,000 Living Wage employers across the UK, who voluntarily commit to go further than the government minimum to make sure all their staff earn enough to live on.

“In the midst of such turbulent times, it’s great to see the Executive leading the way in responsible pay, setting a great example to follow for all here. Through their accreditation, the Northern Ireland Executive has recognised that paying the real Living Wage is the mark of a responsible employer, and that everyone needs a wage that meets their everyday needs."

The event was chaired by Jayne Brady, Head of the Civil Service with speakers included from; the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and Eglinton based company, Hawthorn Heights sharing the benefits of being a Living Wage accredited company.

To find out more about the Living Wage visit

Notes to editors: 

  1. 340 Civil Servants will benefit from the Living Wage uplift.  
  2. The Scoring Social Value Policy which includes a commitment on the Living Wage can be found here.
  3. NDNA includes a commitment for the Executive to become a Living Wage employer.
  4.  Media enquiries should be addressed to the Department of Finance Press Office on Tel: 028 9081 6724 or email
  5.  To keep up to date with news from the Department you can follow us on the following social media channels:

6.  The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service For Media Enquiries Only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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