A COMMUNITY-RUN pub in York has pledged to pay its staff the living wage and is calling on bigger businesses to follow suit.

The co-operative that runs the Golden Ball in Bishophill made the announcement last night and said it supported the Stamp Out Poverty campaign run by The Press.

The pub will now pay all nine staff who are paid by the hour the Living Wage of £7.45 an hour, in an industry where the vast majority of staff receive lower pay.

Pete Kilbane, secretary of the co-operative, said: “As a Co-op, we have to invest our profits in the community and the business.

“Paying staff the living wage allows us to do both of those things. We’ve had tremendous success since the Co-op took over the pub and it’s only right that the staff share in that achievement.”

Pub manager Beth Maguire said: “We’ve got great people who are willing to learn every aspect of the job, and they go that extra mile when needed.

“At the end of the day every thriving business needs great staff. Paying the living wage gives us that extra edge in recruitment.”

Mr Kilbane said some of York’s larger employers could do more to help tackle poverty locally.

He said: “I was a bit shocked to find that quite a few bigger employers in the city are not paying the living wage. If a local pub and the likes of York CVS can pay it, surely large companies can too?”

A report last year by KPMG found that the pub and bar industry was among the worst for low pay, with 90 per cent of workers receiving wages below the Living Wage rate, compared with 20 per cent of the total working population.

The Golden Ball is the first pub in York to be run by a cooperative.

City of York Council was among the first councils in the country to adopt the Living Wage, and the Archbishop of York is chairing the Living Wage commission, set up to encourage more employers to pay wages that can sustain an acceptable standard of living.

A spokeswoman for the Living Wage Foundation said that of 360 accredited employers paying the living wage, only five were in the hospitality industry, including two London pubs.

She said: “We are delighted to hear that a public house in York is considering the benefits of the Living Wage. Staff in hospitality work long shifts, are often required to put in unsociable hours and are at risk of in-work poverty.

“These staff have a big impact on how the public views an organisation as they are the public face of the company, so rewarding people fairly makes good business sense.”

• The minimum hourly wage is legally binding and is currently £6.31 for over-20s and £5.03 for 18 to 20-year-olds.

The Living Wage is identified by anti-poverty experts each year as the income needed to sustain an acceptable standard of living.