Leuchie House has today accredited as a Living Wage employer, joining a movement of over 2,700 Scottish based employers. This commitment will see everyone working at Leuchie House receive a minimum hourly wage of £9.90 per hour. This Living Wage rate was announced on Monday 15th November 2021 as part of Living Wage Week. This rate is significantly higher than the government minimum for over 23s, which currently stands at £9.50 per hour.
This is an important milestone for the Living Wage movement in Scotland and signals the growing support for Living Wage accreditation within the social care sector. The real Living Wage can help employers show their staff they value their contributions to the crucial work the sector undertakes and can highlight that working within social care is a viable career path.
Leuchie House is a national respite charity which provides transformational breaks for people living with neurological conditions such as MS, MND, stroke and Parkinson’s, and helps carers and families have a break from their own caring responsibilities. They currently provide up to three hundred breaks a year with half of the costs supported by fundraising.
Leuchie House, chief executive Mark Bevan said:
“Leuchie’ s Board, management and team work hard to make this the very best place it can possibly be for our guests and their carers. Our guests deserve this and the highly skilled team that provides their care deserve no less than the real Living Wage. The work they do is physically and emotionally demanding and a critical part of our country’s health and social care fabric.
As our population ages this work will become an ever more important part of Scotland’s economy. We must do everything we can to attract and retain the best people into the vital and rewarding work of health and social care, that includes paying a decent wage.”
Kevin Stewart, Minister for Mental Wellbeing and Social Care said:
“Social care had to deal with some really difficult challenges throughout the pandemic and we are incredibly grateful for the continued dedication of staff, providing care to so many. We’ve worked closely with the sector and made significant investment to improve pay and conditions to be sure we can continue to attract and retain the staff needed for these vital services.
It is great to mark another adult social care provider accredited as a Living Wage employer and this reflects the value placed on this critical sector.”
In Scotland, more than 14% of all jobs pay less than the real Living Wage – around 330,000 jobs. Despite this, Leuchie House has committed to pay the real Living Wage and deliver a fair day’s pay for a hard day’s work. The commitment has seen 21 of the 80 staff uplifted to the real Living Wage.
The real Living Wage is the only UK wage rate calculated according to the costs of living. Employers choose to pay the real Living Wage on a voluntary basis, recognising the value of their workers and ensuring that a hard day’s work receives a fair day’s pay.
Since 2011 the Living Wage movement has delivered a pay rise to over 55,000 people in Scotland and put over £310 million extra into the pockets of low paid Scottish workers.
Leuchie House employee Maureen Blackie, a general care assistant who has been at Leuchie for 17 years, said:
“This increase will really help me and my husband, who is semi-retired. It will definitely help us budget and manage our gas and electricity bills better, with the cost of living so high at the moment. I am really pleased that Leuchie has become a Living Wage employer and it says a lot about how the charity looks after its staff here and see us as important.”
Richard Lochhead, Minister for Just Transition, Employment and Fair Work said:
“The Scottish Government welcomes the growing number of Living Wage employers across Scotland, as fair work practices like this provide real benefits for both workers and employers, and I extend my congratulations to Leuchie House in its accreditation.”
Peter Kelly, Director of The Poverty Alliance said:
“We all need an income that is enough to cover our needs and protect us from poverty, and it’s only right that employers pay a wage that reflects the cost of living. Too many workers in Scotland are paid less than the real Living Wage and, at a time of rising costs, are struggling to stay afloat. The real Living Wage can offer protection from those rising costs.
We are seeing increasing numbers of social care providers committing to the pay the living wage, and making that long term commitment to support their staff with a wage that helps meets the cost of living. We hope to see more social care employers follow Leuchie House’s lead by becoming Living Wage accredited.”