– Eleanor Harris, CEO Brighton i360
Originally published October 2014. Additional information added June 2016.
Brighton i360 signed up to the Living Wage Campaign in Brighton and Hove today, making it one of the first major tourism attractions in the city to commit to paying its staff well over the minimum wage.
Said Eleanor Harris, CEO of Brighton i360, the 162metre high attraction and venue being built on Brighton beach: “I’m doing this because to me it makes perfect sense. If we pay more to our staff, we will be able to attract the very best, against a lot of competition in a city where tourism-related employment accounts for 14% the workforce.
“Our team is growing fast already and when we launch the i360 in 2016, we will be running one of the top attractions in the UK. We want to attract and retain great people who are able to deliver outstanding customer service.
“If visitors have a fantastic experience when they visit us, they are more likely to recommend our attractions to friends and family and to share their positive experience on social media. We believe that paying decent wages will have a direct and positive impact on our bottom line.”
Eleanor has huge experience of working with and managing staff at top UK destination businesses, including the London Eye, View from the Shard, the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Turner Contemporary, Royal Pavilion and Brighton Museums and many more.
She continued: “We will be investing in our staff training. For example, our pod host will be trained to deliver a professional tour commentary, to operate the pod and in first aid. Our team of engineers will be trained in the maintenance and safety checks for the tower and vertical cable car machinery. These are highly skilled jobs and we will want to retain our teams.”
Over 150 businesses, charities, social enterprises and public sector organisations have now signed up to the Brighton and Hove Living Wage Campaign, which is led and managed by Brighton and Hove Chamber of Commerce and funded by Brighton and Hove City Council and Public Service Board.
Next week, from 2 – 8 November is Living Wage Week 2014 in the UK and businesses are being encouraged to sign up to the campaign at http://livingwagebrighton.co.uk/sign-up.
Employers who sign up are committing to pay their employees £7.65 or more per hour, whilst the minimum wage is £6.50 per hour. Apprentices and interns are exempt. The Living Wage rate is reviewed annually in November. The next review will be announced on 3 November 2014.
The facts about British Airways i360’s commitment to the Brighton & Hove Living Wage campaign:
Brighton i360 has signed up to the Brighton & Hove Living Wage campaign, which means we have pledged:
* that direct employees will be paid a minimum of the current Living Wage for Brighton & Hove (£8.25 per hour)
* to tell the Brighton & Hove Living Wage Campaign if things change and we can no longer do this
* to look at ways to ensure our sub-contracted staff are also paid a minimum of the current Brighton & Hove Living Wage.
British Airways i360 will be directly employing approximately 60 full time and around 20 part time staff and they will all be paid at least the Living Wage.
We are very proud to commit to pay at least the Living Wage to all our employees and this includes young people who are recent school or college leavers.
We have also actively in-sourced roles such as cleaners and security staff who will also be paid at least the Brighton & Hove Living Wage.
We also encourage our contractors to look at ways to ensure their staff are also paid the Living Wage and indeed some of our contractors have committed to this.
Some sectors do struggle to achieve this, or have other ways of rewarding their staff. British Airways i360 is one of a handful of Brighton & Hove organisations in the hospitality or tourism sectors who have signed up to this agreement.
The Brighton & Hove Living Wage Campaign aims to raise the profile of the living wage and can be a first step towards signing up to the more involved national Living Wage Foundation.
Accreditation by the Living Wage Foundation, a national initiative, requires that signees pay all directly employed staff the Living Wage and have an agreed plan in place for third party contracted staff, which can be phased in. We are not signed up to this as yet.