Government commits to Living Wage
Swinney urges employers to protect employees on low incomes
Finance Secretary John Swinney today announced a new living wage of £7.45 for employees working in parts of the public sector under the Government’s pay policy and urged employers in the private, public and third sectors to follow suit.
The commitment is in line with the Scottish Living Wage Campaign and the Living Wage Foundation’s new recommended living wage announced today, £7.45 per hour, which encourages employers to ensure all staff on lower incomes receive a fair level of pay. The requirement to pay a living wage was introduced in the Scottish Government’s pay policy in 2011-12, benefiting approximately 6,000 workers. This new rate of £7.45 will potentially benefit up to 3,300 workers.
The Scottish Government has control over wage levels for most civil servants in central government, government agencies, non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs) and the NHS. The new rate will apply as of 1 April 2013, which is the start of the next public sector pay round.
Finance Secretary John Swinney said:
“The Scottish Government is committed to the Scottish Living Wage and we fully support the principles of the Living Wage Campaign, which encourages all employers to reward their staff fairly. That is why the commitment to pay the Living Wage is part of the Scottish Government’s public sector pay policy for the third year running.
“Since 2011, this Government has ensured all staff within our responsibility are paid a living wage and we would encourage all public, private and third sector organisations to recognise the benefits of this approach and do likewise. Furthermore, our pay policy recognises the importance of supporting those on low incomes and provides for a minimum basic pay increase of £250 for all staff earning under £21,000.
“The draft budget demonstrated our focus on growth and supporting hard pressed families and individuals, which is why we have retained our commitment to a council tax freeze, free nursery education, free personal care, no tuition fees and free prescriptions. We have also provided job security for many through our commitment to a no compulsory redundancy policy.
“The living wage is a positive step that all employers can take to help boost consumer confidence, strengthen economic recovery, while helping to provide certainty for individuals and families who are already dealing with pressures on family budgets.”
Chair of the Scottish Living Wage Campaign Peter Kelly said:
“With the problem of in-work poverty continuing to increase, the Scottish Government’s continued support for the Living Wage must be congratulated. Today’s announcement will ensure that some of the lowest paid workers in the public sector will receive a wage increase that will provide real help in these difficult times. We look forward to working with the Scottish Government to ensure that more employees across Scotland can get the benefit of the living wage.”