OPFS Celebrates Living Wage Commitment

OPFS Celebrates Living Wage Commitment

PRESS RELEASE: 17 September 2014

The Living Wage Foundation, in partnership with Poverty Alliance, is pleased to announce that the charity One Parent Families Scotland (OPFS), has been accredited as a Living Wage employer, raising the salaries of almost half of its staff.

The Living Wage commitment will see everyone working at One Parent Families Scotland, regardless of whether they are permanent employees or third-party contractors and suppliers, receive a minimum hourly wage of £7.65 – significantly higher than the national minimum wage of £6.31.

Living Wage Employer logoOne Parent Families Scotland is only the 6th charity in Scotland to receive this accreditation.

The Living Wage is an hourly rate set independently and updated annually. It is calculated according to the basic cost of living using the ‘Minimum Income Standard’ for the UK. Decisions about what to include in this standard are set by the public; it is a social consensus about what people need to make ends meet.

Satwat Rehman, Director of One Parent Families Scotland, said:

“We are delighted to be accredited as a Living Wage employer. As a charity who campaigns to get lone parents out of poverty it makes sense that we, as an employer of over 165 people, pay our staff a Living Wage.

“OPFS supports the Scottish Living Wage Campaign. Despite the fact that over 58% of lone parents are in work, many of these are living below the poverty line because they are on the national minimum wage. If employers committed to paying a Living Wage, thousands of Scottish lone parents and their children would be lifted out of poverty and would also be less reliant on Government benefits such as tax credits.”

Employers choose to pay the Living Wage on a voluntary basis. The Living Wage enjoys cross party support, in both the Scottish and Westminster parliaments.

Living Wage Foundation Director, Rhys Moore said:

“We are delighted to welcome the charity One Parent Families Scotland to the Living Wage movement as an accredited employer. The accreditation process has seen the organisation lift the wages of nearly half of its staff. We recognise this must have been a big challenge, but clearly demonstrates their commitment to tackling low pay wherever possible.

“The charity sector has shown great leadership in implementing the Living Wage, particularly organisations such as One Parent Families Scotland who, as part of their own campaigning, want to see an end to child poverty. We believe that work should be the surest way out of poverty. The Living Wage is a robust calculation that reflects the real cost of living, rewarding a hard day’s work with a fair day’s pay.”

 

— ENDS —

 

Media Contacts

Gillian Owen, Living Wage: 07876 246 150, gillian.owen@citizensuk.org.uk

Sarah Barclay, OPFS: 0131 556 3899 or 07849 425661, sarah.barclay@opfs.org.uk

Notes to Editors:

Case Study

Nathan Carr, 19, from Dundee is an Administration Assistant at One Parent Families Scotland’s childcare project in Dundee. When he first joined the charity 10 months ago he was on minimum wage of £5 an hour and could only afford to live at home with his mum. Now that he is on a Living Wage of £7.65 an hour he has been able to save a small amount each month toward a deposit on his own place. He said:

“Before I was given a Living Wage I was struggling with bills and completely unable to put anything aside for a deposit on a house for me and my girlfriend to share. It has made a real difference to my finances and my girlfriend is very pleased.”

The Living Wage in Scotland

Poverty Alliance is working in partnership with the Living Wage Foundation to accredit Living Wage employers in Scotland.

The Living Wage is an hourly rate set independently and updated annually. It is calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK. Employers choose to pay the Living Wage on a voluntary basis. The Living Wage enjoys cross party support, in both the Scottish and Westminster parliaments.

The UK Living Wage for outside of London is currently £7.65 per hour. This figure is set annually by the Centre for Research in Social Policy at Loughborough University.

In Scotland, the Scottish Living Wage Campaign works alongside The Living Wage Foundation and Poverty Alliance to raise awareness of issues around low pay and encourage businesses to accredit as Living Wage employers.

There are currently over 850 accredited employers across the UK. The Living Wage Foundation is an initiative of Citizens UK.

The Living Wage Foundation, Poverty Alliance and the Scottish Living Wage Campaign believe that work should be the surest way out of poverty.

Posted in Press Releases.

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