SOUTHEND Council is set to become an accredited Real Living Wage employer.

Hundreds of council staff could be in line for a pay rise after the council announced that discussions will take place to make Southend council an accredited Real Living Wage employer.

The Real Living Wage, set at £9 an hour, is different, and more than, the National Living Wage, which currently sits at £7.70 an hour for under 25's. and £8.21 for over 25's.

The Real Living Wage is set by the Resolution Foundation, and is based on the cost of a basket of everyday goods, with the National Living Wage set by the Government.

Resolution Foundation state that £9 an hour is what families need to get by in day-to-day life.

Southend Council states that the lowest wage for a directly employed member of staff at the council is £9 per hour, or £17,364 per year.

A "directly employed member" currently does not include third party contracted staff, such as catering, cleaning, security, and parks or ground staff.

However, if the council becomes an accredited Real Living Wage employer, contracted staff would be boosted to £9 an hour.

Ian Gilbert, leader of the council, said: “I am pleased that as a council all our directly employed staff receive a Real Living Wage, and we can now begin to discuss the work which needs to take place to get accreditation.

“This is not going to be easy, owing to the financial pressures on the council and businesses, but the people working in our town deserve a real living wage, and it is our job to show leadership.

“We want to be able to attract and retain excellent employees across all departments and services of the council and being an accredited real living wage employer will be an excellent standard upon which we can boost our reputation and attractiveness as a place to work.”