Leading the Way with Living Hours Accreditation

16 April 2024

By Hilary Ramsay, Director Finance and Corporate Services, Young Scot

Young Scot is the national youth information and citizenship charity for 11 to 25-year-olds living in Scotland. We have been a Living Wage accredited employer since 2015 and have recently committed to the Living Hours standard. The real Living Wage is currently £12 per hour across the UK and £13.15 in London.

Recent research published by the Living Wage Foundation showed that over nine per cent of workers in Scotland (approximately 250,000) are in insecure work and paid below the Living Wage. The number and security of hours people work is a key driver of in-work poverty, alongside their rate of pay.  Older and younger workers are disproportionately impacted by insecure work. It has become a defining feature of the labour market for many young adults.

Young workers under 24 are the most likely of any age group to be employed on zero-hour contracts. Just under 4% of people in employment in the UK are on these contracts compared to around 11% of the 16–24 age group. Working zero-hour contracts means that many young people do not have access to the benefits that permanently contracted employees do.

The Living Hours scheme was set up to tackle the problems associated with casualised and insecure work. Through the Living Hours accreditation scheme employers can provide greater security of hours and contracts to their staff, alongside the real Living Wage.

It is important that we not only do the best for our staff but demonstrate a commitment to influencing other organisations in our sector and those that we contract with. This is why Young Scot is committed to ensuring that all our staff and contractors are compensated fairly for their work.

Our Living Wage, Living Pensions and Living Hours accreditations represent a fundamental aspect of Young Scot’s commitment to social responsibility and ensure that all employees receive a wage and security of hours that is sufficient for a basic standard of living. The wellbeing of our staff remains our priority and receiving accreditation also shows our long-term commitment to their financial wellbeing.

Living Hours accreditation requires employers to pay the real Living Wage to all their employees over the age of 18 and commit to providing at least four weeks’ notice for every shift, with guaranteed payment if shifts are cancelled within this notice period.

Living Hours employers also provide a guaranteed minimum of 16 hours every week (unless the worker requests otherwise), and a contract that accurately reflects hours worked.

You can find out more about the Living Hours standard at https://scottishlivingwage.org/living-hours/.

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