Belfast Telegraph

Labour to investigate claims conference workers were not paid living wage

Labour officials will investigate claims workers at the party's annual conference are being paid the National Minimum Wage and not a "living wage".

The shadow chancellor John McDonnell said a Labour government would make paying a "real living wage" a legal requirement for companies in the UK when he addressed the party's annual conference on Monday.

But earlier in the day a Labour delegate told party members she had been left "embarrassed and shocked" after she found out workers at a conference drinks reception were being paid the minimum wage.

She said Labour should be "setting the example" on fair pay.

She said: "I went to a drinks reception last night, there was free wine so I stayed a while.

"I was chatting to the people serving the drinks and found out that they are paid the minimum wage.

"They were very quick to point out that they are employed via an agency by the venue because they didn't want to get into any trouble but I think it is a very important point.

"We are the Labour Party. We should be setting the example. If you work at conference you should be getting a living wage."

She urged the conference arrangements committee to investigate the matter.

Harry Donaldson, the chairman of the committee, said the matter would be looked into.

He said: "Thank you very much for bringing that to our attention and the request to investigate it will be done."

The Living Wage, as define by the Living Wage Foundation, is £8.25 an hour outside London and £9.40 an hour inside London.

The Government's National Living Wage applies to people aged 25 and over and currently stands at £7.20 an hour.

The National Minimum Wage is £5.30 an hour for people between the ages of 18 and 20 and £6.70 for people aged between 21 and 24.