Scottish charity commits to paying its staff at least £8.95 an hour
Scottish charity Arts & Business Scotland has been officially accredited as a Living Wage employer by the Living Wage Foundation and Scottish accreditation body, the Poverty Alliance, joining organisations in Scotland who have committed to paying their staff at least the Living Wage rate of £8.45 an hour.
Jamie Hepburn, Minister for Employability and Training, visited Arts & Business Scotland earlier today (Thursday, 5 October) to mark the occasion and congratulate the organisation on its commitment to fair work principles.
The Living Wage is an independently set hourly rate of pay that is calculated according to the basic costs of living and takes account of the adequacy of household incomes for achieving an acceptable minimum living standard. It is paid on a voluntary basis by employers and is updated annually. The Living Wage rate is significantly higher than the statutory National Living Wage of £7.50 p/h, for over 25s which came into effect in April 2017.
A recent survey released by The Poverty Alliance found that three out of four people would think more highly of a company which became accredited for paying the real Living Wage. It also found that 80% of employees said that being paid the Living Wage would make them feel more valued by their employer.
Minister for Employability and Training Jamie Hepburn said: “The Scottish Government has long championed the Living Wage and the real economic benefits of treating people more fairly. This proven investment in people leads to increased productivity and reduced staff absence, while sending a strong signal about fairness to your organisation’s stakeholders. I would like to congratulate Arts & Business Scotland for achieving Living Wage accreditation and I hope that even more will follow its example.”
Catriona Reynolds, Head of Governance at Arts & Business Scotland, said: “As an organisation, we are committed to fair and progressive business practices and are therefore delighted to be recognised by the Living Wage Foundation and The Poverty Alliance. We recognise that paying at least the Living Wage can be challenging for some organisations and especially for many smaller businesses and charities operating in the cultural sector. At the same time, there are considerable benefits to be gained from becoming Living Wage accredited. By signing up, I hope that we can encourage other organisations to follow suit in the future.”
Peter Kelly, Director of the Poverty Alliance, added: “I am delighted to welcome Arts & Business Scotland to the Living Wage Employer movement in Scotland. The real Living Wage is one of the most effective means we have of tackling in-work poverty, and Living Wage accreditation is the mark of a responsible employer.
“With more than half of children in poverty in Scotland living in a household where someone works, paying a real Living Wage that reflects the cost of living has never been more important.
“I congratulate Arts & Business Scotland on their accreditation as a Living Wage Employer and I hope more organisations in Scotland will follow their lead by getting in touch with us.”