Galashiels based Tweedbank Early Learners have become accredited as a Living Wage Employer.
This commitment will see everyone working at Tweedbank Early Learners receive a minimum hourly wage of £9.90 per hour.
This new Living Wage rate was announced on Monday 15th November and is significantly higher than the government minimum for over 23s, which currently stands at £8.91 per hour.
Tweedbank Early Learners’ announcement comes during Living Wage week (15-19th November), an annual celebration of the real Living Wage in the UK.
To mark the week of awareness, Scottish Borders Council hosted a business breakfast on Wednesday 17 October, bringing together local businesses to discuss the benefits of being a Living Wage employer and hear about the accreditation experience.
Representatives from Scottish Government, Scottish Borders College, South of Scotland Enterprise, Eildon Housing Association and NHS Borders and other local Living Wage Employers were present to discuss the importance of the movement.
A highlight of the event was an address via video link from SNP Minister for Just Transition, Employment and Fair Work, Richard Lochhead, who discussed the importance of fair pay for employees, highlighted the many social and economic benefits derived from earning the Living Wage and congratulated those attending for their efforts in supporting the initiative.
Earlier this year an alliance of prominent Eildon based employers announced their ambitious plans to “Make Eildon a Living Wage Place”.
More than 9000 workers are covered by a Living Wage commitment in Eildon.
Annmarie, Manager & Trustee at Tweedbank Early Learners said:
“As a charity, of course we need to ensure our sustainability and be able to continue investing in our quality of provision for the families using our service.
However, I believe that maintaining a strong relationship with employees is key to the success of any organisation and paying our dedicated staff the wages they deserve – the real Living Wage – gives added benefits such as increased staff morale and helps in the recruitment and retention of staff.
Using the real Living Wage as the basis for our salary structure ensures fairness and equality within our organisation. Staff are also reassured that their wages will be reviewed annually and increased in line with the real Living Wage”
Andy Anderson, Chair of the Eildon Living Wage Action Group said:
“It’s fantastic to welcome Tweedbank Early Learners to our Living Wage network this Living Wage Week. Paying the real Living Wage makes a huge difference as it helps tackle in-work poverty, it allows workers to better provide for their families and to feel valued by their employers.
Every employer in Eildon can help tackle low pay and the Eildon Living Wage Action Group is available to help and guide local employers through any challenges they might face in committing to the real Living Wage.”
Robin Tatler, Executive Member for Community Development and Localities and Chair of Scottish Borders Living Wage Group, said:
“As one of the major employers in the Borders area, Scottish Borders Council are extremely proud to be an accredited Living Wage employer.
The aim of the Scottish Borders Living Wage Group is to encourage every employer in the Borders to pay the Living Wage. The best way for us to do that is to set an example for other employers and promote the many benefits of offering a fair day’s pay for the work staff do.
Today’s business breakfast has been a fantastic opportunity to bring together like-minded organisations to share their positive experiences of becoming accredited Living Wage employers.”
Martin Whitfield MSP for South Scotland (Region) said:
“I congratulate Tweedbank Early Learners on achieving their Living Wage accreditation and contributing to the important wider Living Wage activity taking place in the Eildon area.
The early learning and childcare sector is an important focus for the Living Wage and it’s great to see Tweedbank Early Learners setting a positive example for other providers in the Borders and beyond.”
Christine McCaig, Projects Coordinator at Living Wage Scotland said:
“We are delighted to welcome Tweedbank Early Learners to the Living Wage movement, strengthening the local activity in Eildon.
We are a movement of over 2400 Scottish employers who together want to go further than the government minimum. Our growing network in Eildon includes a range of employers including NHS Borders, WSZ Joiners and Eildon Housing Association.
Employers like Tweedbank Early Learners recognise the importance of valuing staff with a wage that reflects living costs, and we hope to see many more employers following their example.”