Living Wage Employers welcome Scottish Government Minister

Living Wage Employers welcome Scottish Government Minister  Image

Dundee’s most recently accredited Living Wage employers gathered at Social Enterprise β€˜The Circle’ today to host a visit from Jamie Hepburn, the Scottish Government Minister for Business, Fair Work & Skills.  

Mr. Hepburn met with staff from The Circle alongside representatives from Coldside Medical Practice, cleaning company Star Clean, vegan cafΓ© Marwick’s, mental health charity Feeling Strong and arts charity Creative Dundee.

Their Living Wage accreditation ensures all staff and regular contracted workers earn the real Living Wage rather than significantly lower statutory minimum wage rates. Together these 6 small organisations employ 47 workers, 24 of whom have received a welcome pay boost to the real Living Wage, currently set at Β£9.00 per hour.

Mr. Hepburn met workers earning the real Living Wage and spoke with employers on the importance of the real Living Wage.

Sekai Machache, who works at The Circle and earns the real Living Wage, said:

"I feel that being paid the Living Wage is important because it makes you feel more valued by your employer. It’s their way of showing that they want you to thrive and not just survive”.

Fair Work Minister Jamie Hepburn said:

β€œI welcome the opportunity to congratulate Dundee’s latest Living Wage accredited employers. This follows Dundee being recognised in March as Scotland’s first city to demonstrate its commitment to becoming a Living Wage city.

β€œI am proud that Scotland has the highest proportion of people paid the living wage of any UK nation and I encourage all businesses to commit to doing the same for their employees. Paying the real Living Wage and becoming accredited treats people fairly, benefits the economy and sends a positive signal about the organisation into the wider community.”

Dundee’s City recognition as part of the new β€˜Making Living Wage Places’ scheme was awarded in March 2019 when a group of prominent Dundee employers joined forces to form the Dundee Living Wage City Action Group and launched their 3-year Action Plan to begin β€˜Making Dundee a Living Wage City’.

Dundee City Council Councillor Lynne Short, Convener of City Development Committee said:

"I am pleased that these local employers have so quickly demonstrated that they too share the vision of Making Dundee a Living Wage City. 

β€œEvery employer in Dundee can help tackle low pay in the City, and the Dundee Living Wage City Action Group are available to help and guide local employers through any challenges they might face in committing to the real Living Wage.

"Lots of businesses in the city already pay the real Living Wage and I want to encourage them to seek accreditation and move Dundee a step closer to achieving our goal of becoming the first Living Wage City.”

Lynn Anderson, National Coordinator for the Making Living Wage Places scheme in Scotland said:

β€œDundee are the first City to begin delivering their β€˜Making Living Wage Places’ plan, which has already resulted in a spike in awareness and interest from employers on becoming Living Wage accredited.

We call upon prominent local employers in Towns and Cities across Scotland to step forward to begin their journey with us on Making Living Wage Places too.”

[ENDS]

NOTES TO EDITORS

  • The current real Living Wage for the UK outside of London was announced on 5th November 2018, and is Β£9.00 per hour. The figures are calculated annually by the Resolution Foundation and overseen by the Living Wage Commission, based on the best available evidence on living standards in London and the UK.  

  • As of March 2019, there were 51 accredited Living Wage employers in Dundee, together they employ an estimated 15,926 workers, equivalent to 25% of Dundee’s economically active workforce: https://www.dundeecity.gov.uk/city-plan-for-dundee-2017-2026

  • Over the past 4 years, over 37,000 people in Scotland have had a pay rise as a result of their employer becoming accredited as a Living Wage employer. For an example of one of them click here: https://youtu.be/MaagH0UPXNo. Β£63.5m in extra wages have gone into workers’ pockets in Scotland since the voluntary movement began.
  • More than 1450 employers headquartered in Scotland have become accredited. Accreditation is voluntary.  In the UK, there are 5000 accredited employers.
  • Accredited Living Wage employers in Scotland span private, public and third sectors. Prominent accredited employers include SSE, Standard Life, Barrs and Mackies. SMEs make up 75% of the total number of employers and half of Scotland’s local councils accredited. Find out more at www.scottishlivingwage.org/accredited.
  • In 2018, there were 470,000 workers aged 18+ earning less than the real Living Wage (Β£8.75), which is 19.4% of the working population:

https://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Labour-Market/Earnings/ASHE-SCOT-2017

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