The Ontario Living Wage Network (OLWN) announced SIRCH is the first certified living wage employer in Haliburton.

As a certified employer, all full-time, part-time, contract, and seasonal workers earn at least the currently calculated living wage of $19.05 per hour, the OLWN said in a news release.

“While staff in retail and food services are traditionally paid low wages, we felt that philosophically we could not tackle poverty and food insecurity unless we are truly walking the walk by ensuring our employees are not making less than the living wage for this area,” said executive director Gena Robertson.

A living wage is calculated by the OLWN to show how much a worker must earn per hour in order to make ends meet and enjoy modest participation in civic and cultural community. The calculations gather real local expenses such as shelter costs, childcare, transportation, and food. They also factor in any applicable government taxes, transfers, and benefits.

“Families who work for low wages often face impossible choices: buy food or heat the house, feed the children or pay the rent. Paying a living wage allows individuals and families to cover household essentials as well as occasional emergencies or unexpected expenses,” the OLWN said.

Robertson added from a business perspective, paying a living wage can reduce employee turnover, absenteeism, and retraining costs. She said it can also improve performance and productivity, and lower staff turnover rates.

“It may be difficult to pay more for labour, but paying a living wage will help your employees remain in the County, remain in your employ, and feed their families. It’s one of the best local economic development strategies we can employ.”

For more information, including calculation documentation, coverage map, and certified employer directory see: