Meridian Credit Union Ltd. is continuing to support employee financial wellness by raising its guaranteed hourly wage to $23.74.

In 2022, the financial company became the largest employer to be certified by the Ontario Living Wage Network and is adjusting its compensation to reflect new guidelines that were updated last month.

Current economic conditions and the rising cost of living have made it difficult for people to feel financially secure, so by offering a living wage — along with comprehensive benefits and pension programs — employers can improve employee health and well-being, says Kristine Dionne, vice-president of total rewards and human resources operations at Meridian.

Read: Meridian supporting employee financial wellness with guaranteed wage

Since initially implementing the guaranteed living wage last year, Meridian has experienced a lower turnover rate, she notes, adding employers that pay a living wage may benefit from increased retention, productivity and savings on hiring and training. “[It can also improve] mental and physical health. We’ve seen financial well-being result in higher engagement and lower sick time and disability leaves.”

The organization received many positive comments and messages of gratitude from employees after the raise, said Dionne, with some branch managers reporting that a few employees were in tears because of the positive impact of the pay increase.

“Our ‘Meridian for Good’ strategy is about helping people achieve their best lives and this includes our employees. We . . . know our employees’ personal success and well-being benefits our members and communities. That’s why Meridian prioritizes investing in employees’ health and well-being and why we’ll continue to pay the living wage to our employees again this year.”

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