Ash Denham has this week launched a campaign calling for businesses across her Edinburgh Eastern constituency to commit to paying the real Living Wage, and become accredited Living Wage employers.
The real Living Wage in Scotland is £9.30 per hour, which has been independently calculated based on what employees and their families need to live on. The UK Government minimum wage is currently set at £7.70 for under 25s and £8.21 for over 25s.
To launch the campaign, Ms. Denham invited accredited Living Wage employers who work in her constituency to the Scottish Parliament last Friday for a round table discussion on the benefits of the real Living Wage for both employers and workers.
The campaign will see the Edinburgh Eastern MSP write to over 100 local employers with information on the benefits of paying the voluntary rate and how support can be sought from Living Wage Scotland on becoming accredited.
The Edinburgh Eastern MSP said:
“I was delighted to invite Living Scotland accredited employers to the Scottish Parliament to host a round table discussion on the benefits of paying staff a wage that has been independently calculated based on what employees and their families need to live on.
“Not only were we able to hear from employers on the benefits to the organisations on becoming accredited, but we were also able to hear first-hand from employees themselves at the meeting about the significant difference it has made to their lives.
“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.
“I will now make it a priority to engage directly with employers in Edinburgh Eastern to promote the benefits of becoming accredited and to understand any barriers which prevents them from doing so.
“I would like to thank Living Wage Scotland and the Poverty Alliance for their support with the event and for working alongside me to promote the benefits of the Living Wage scheme in my constituency.”
Jack Evans, Manager at Living Wage Scotland said:
“We are a movement of over 1,700 Scottish employers who together want to go further than the government minimum to make sure that all their staff earn enough to live on.
“We welcome local efforts to raise awareness of the positive benefits the real Living Wage can deliver for workers, businesses and communities. There are currently over 360 accredited Living Wage employers based in the city of Edinburgh, and we look forward working with many more on becoming accredited.
“There are small, large and iconic Scottish employers signed up for Living Wage accreditation, such as SSE, Standard Life, Barrs, Mackie’s, ScotRail, DC Thomson and many more. These businesses recognise that the Living Wage accreditation is a mark of a responsible employer and they join us, because they too believe that a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay.”
Carla Tait, Kennel Assistant at Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home, said:
“At first I was planning on putting the extra money aside for my wedding or towards fuel for the car but in reality I’ve found that I spent it more on socialising and treating myself, which I think has had a big impact on my mental wellbeing.
“A lot of work in animal care is on minimum wage but it’s really hard work, both physically and emotionally, so being paid the Living Wage shows how much Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home appreciates us. I think everybody feels more valued. I was always proud to work here but this was an extra boost for everyone.”
Pictured in the attached photo (left to right): Lynn Anderson (Poverty Alliance/Living Wage Scotland), Craig Purves (Carr Gomm), Lucy Wren (Carr Gomm), Ash Denham MSP, Roseanne Reddington (Carrick Home Services), Jane Gillies (Carrick Home Services), Carla Tait (Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home), Nicola Gunn (Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home).
Living Wage Scotland website: https://scottishlivingwage.org/