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Helm Housing has become the largest housing association in Northern Ireland to be accredited as a Living Wage employer by the Living Wage Foundation. Helm introduced the Living Wage on a voluntary basis. This ensures that all employees are paid in accordance with the Minimum Income Standard, which makes the award particularly significant given the size of Helms workforce which currently stands at over 135. Adhering to the Living Wage standard commits an employer to a fair rate of pay, which is independently set and is linked to the basic cost of living. Every Helm employee, whether they are permanent, part-time or third-party contractors, are guaranteed a minimum hourly wage of £8.25 - a significantly higher rate than both the current and new minimum wage for over 25s which stands at £6.70 and £7.20 respectively. Speaking at the announcement, John McPeake, Chief Executive of Helm Housing, said: At Helm Housing we believe it is vital to invest in our staff and to help create a happy workforce. Committing to the Living Wage for all our employees is just one way we aim to promote this and we are proud to be only the second and the largest Housing Association in Northern Ireland to do so. We appreciate the hard work that our team puts in every day and we hope other associations and organisations will follow our example to ensure that housing sector employees are given the rewards they deserve.Living Wage Foundation Director, Sarah Vero said: We are delighted to welcome Helm Housing to the Living Wage movement as an accredited employer. The best employers are voluntarily signing up to pay the Living Wage now. The Living Wage is a robust calculation that reflects the real cost of living, rewarding a hard days work with a fair days pay.We have accredited over 2,000 leading employers, including Helm Housing, ranging from independent printers, bookshops and breweries, to well-known companies such as Nationwide, Aviva and SSE. These businesses recognise that clinging to the national minimum wage is not good for business. Customers expect better than that."