VSA strengthens Aberdeen’s Living Wage City ambition

01 June 2023

VSA has become accredited as a Living Wage employer. The Living Wage commitment will see everyone working at VSA (Voluntary Service Aberdeen) receive a minimum hourly wage of £10.90 per hour. This rate is higher than the government minimum for over 23s, which currently stands at £10.42 per hour (from 1 April 2023).

VSA is a leading social care charity, with over 150 years of experience, at the forefront of providing vital care and support to vulnerable children and adults living across Aberdeen, and beyond.

VSA joins over 80 accredited Living Wage employers in Aberdeen City who are working to ensure the local community and economy enjoy the benefits of the real Living Wage.

Aberdeen launched its ambitious action plan to Make Aberdeen a Living Wage City, a place-based approach to driving uptake of the real Living Wage, in November 2022. This ambition is strengthened by VSA’s commitment to the real Living Wage.

In Scotland, 91% of all jobs pay at least the real Living Wage, this is higher than any other UK nation. Despite this, nearly 1 in 10 jobs still pay less than the real Living Wage, this equates to 221,000 jobs.

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 60,000 people in Scotland and put over £370 million extra into the pockets of low paid Scottish workers.

John Booth, Interim CEO at VSA said:

“We’re very proud to become an accredited real Living Wage employer by the Living Wage Foundation, which proves VSA’s commitment to Scotland’s “Fair Work Agenda” by ensuring that all our colleagues are paid fairly for their hard work. We also hope that this may help us attract more people to join VSA, and support us in continuing to deliver the best of care to the people we support.”

Carol Nicholson, HR Director at VSA followed:

“Our colleagues are what makes VSA, and without them, we wouldn’t be able to provide the best of care to the people we support. This is why we wanted to ensure that our colleagues were paid a wage that will support them through this time we are all facing with the rise in energy and other utility costs.”

Speaking on behalf of Aberdeen Living Wage Action Group, Andrew Alleway said:

When we launched our action plan to Make Aberdeen a Living Wage City in November 2022, we knew it would encourage and inspire the 80 or so businesses already operating a Living Wage culture. We also anticipated it would spur others to follow suit and so we are absolutely delighted to see such a hard-working, long-serving social care charity like VSA pursue their Living Wage accreditation.

“The more Living Wage accredited employers in Aberdeen, the more it normalises the value of hourly paid work to the widest range of employers and their workers. It creates an expectation among employees to seek out businesses who put fair treatment of staff, and all the documented productivity and customer-focus this brings, first. It shifts business culture and mindset into one that genuinely values and retains hard-working, loyal staff.  We congratulate VSA and would encourage other businesses to take this bold and ethical step.”

Christine McCaig, Living Wage Scotland Projects Coordinator said:

“We are delighted to welcome VSA to our network of over 3,000 Scottish employers who together want to go further than the government minimum. Our growing network in Aberdeen includes a range of employers from Aberdeen Performing Arts to the University of Aberdeen and we hope more employers join them.

“Employers like VSA are helping to set the standard for employers in Scotland by making sure that workers have what they need to get by. This is particularly encouraging in the social care sector and highlights that it is a viable career path.”

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