A leading community bank in the borough has spoken of its pride at paying the real living wage.
Unify Credit Union CEO Angela Fishwick spoke out after figures released by the Living Wage Foundation found more than a quarter of Wiganers do not earn enough to live on.
The real living wage is currently set at £8.75 an hour outside of London and the Foundation says this is independently calculated by economists using the price of a basket of goods and services to reflect the cost of living.
The Living Wage Foundation’s most recent figures found 11,000 people in the Wigan parliamentary constituency, or 25.6 per cent of the workforce, were earning less than £8.75 per hour.
The figure for Makerfield was around 6,000, or 28.7 per cent of those employed.
Unify leader Ms Fishwick said the organisation was extremely proud to be a living wage employer, saying fairness and giving people what they deserved was at the heart of its business model.
Ms Fishwick said: "We’re very proud of paying the living wage as we’ve always prided ourselves on treating members and customers fairly.
"We started paying just over the real living wage about 18 months ago. Our board felt it was really important and the least our staff deserved.
"Since then we have found when we advertise for vacancies we’re getting a much better standard of applicant.
"It’s the ethical thing to do. If people do a good day’s work they should get a good rate of pay for it.
"It means that not only can our staff pay their bills they can also have some pleasures in life such as holidays, spending time with the children or going out."
The Living Wage Foundation also revealed there are numerous businesses in Wigan town centre, Standish, Ashton, Standish Lower Ground and Hindley paying the living wage.
Other real living wage employers in Wigan include building services firm A Connolly, the charity Keep Britain Tidy and several high street banks. Makerfield MP Yvonne Fov argue has called for action in Parliament to end low pay, saying she stood at the last general election on a manifesto to raise the real living wage to £10 per hour by