Scotland halfway to Living Wage target

Living Wage employerScotland is well on track to having 500 Living Wage-accredited employers by March 2016 as a further milestone was reached yesterday.

Riverside Cottage Nursery in Bathgate has been confirmed as the 250th accredited employer on the same day that Dumfries and Galloway Council was confirmed as the second accredited local authority in Scotland.

Cabinet secretary for fair work, skills and training, Roseanna Cunningham, said: “The Scottish Government is committed to fairness and supporting those on the lowest incomes. We recognise the real difference the Living Wage can make to working people and are leading by example by becoming the first accredited government in the UK earlier this month.

“We have been working closely with the Poverty Alliance to encourage employers to seek Living Wage accreditation and I am very pleased that we have already reached the halfway point of our target of 500 by next March.

“Employers big and small are getting involved and all of the staff of Riverside Cottage Nursery in Bathgate can now enjoy the benefits of the Living Wage with the firm also able to publicly formalise its commitment to its staff.

“Recent research shows enhanced productivity, reduced absenteeism and better staff morale to be just some of the potential benefits of the Living Wage. But in order to meet our long-term commitment to those on the lowest pay, we need even more organisations to recognise those benefits and sign up for accreditation.”

Dumfries and Galloway Council leader, Ronnie Nicholson, said: “Last week, our council approved a new anti-poverty strategy for Dumfries and Galloway. The strategy sets out what we will do to improve the lives of people in our region experiencing poverty, in all its forms. The strategy aims to tackle this through creating actions that will address the causes of poverty.

“Our council considers the Living Wage as the single most important contribution to tackling poverty across the region. Dumfries and Galloway is the lowest paid region in Scotland. I am proud that this council is playing its part in tackling that problem by delivering a Living Wage for our staff. But I want to see that rolled out to as many workers across our region through our partners and contractors. Therefore, we will be promoting Living Wage accreditation to all organisations in our region across the public, third and private sectors.”

Peter Kelly, director of the Poverty Alliance, added: “Congratulations to both Dumfries and Galloway Council and to Riverside Cottage Nursery on becoming accredited Living Wage employers. Local authorities play a vital role by setting an example for employers in their area.

“By signing up to the Accreditation Initiative, Dumfries and Galloway Council have ensured that all of their of employees will always get paid at least the Living Wage. Riverside Cottage Nursery’s accreditation as Scotland’s 250th Living Wage employer is an important milestone for the Scottish Living Wage Accreditation Initiative.

“We know that childcare is an area where many women are trapped in low pay but Riverside Cottage Nursery have shown that it is possible for childcare providers to pay the Living Wage and we hope that others will follow suit. It is great to see more and more organisations – of all shapes and sizes – signing up to accreditation and recognising the role of employers in tackling in work poverty.

“We are confident of meeting our target of 500 accredited living wage employers in Scotland by March, and look forward to working with more employers over the coming months.”

Organisations to have signed the commitment include Cloch Housing Association and Waverley Housing as well as poverty charity Cyrenians.



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