ENABLE Scotland has become an accredited Living Wage employer, with more than 1,800 frontline care workers set for a pay rise to the real Living Wage.
The new Living Wage rate of £9.50 per hour was announced on Monday as part of Living Wage Week (9-15 November 2020). The rate is higher than the statutory minimum for over 25s of £8.72 per hour introduced in April 2020.
Having successfully campaigned for the real Living Wage to be funded for every hour worked by social care staff, including overnight shifts, the social care charity’s Living Wage accreditation comes as it renewed its long-standing pledge to ensure frontline staff are recognised and rewarded for the vital work they deliver.
Social care organisations employ more than 48,000 paid staff in Scotland. Combined with health charities, they employ over half of all paid employees in the third sector in Scotland.
The announcement comes as new research by the Living Wage Foundation has demonstrated the scale of low pay during the pandemic, with 350,000 jobs in Scotland (15.2%) still paying less than the real Living Wage.
As well as its charitable projects and employability services, ENABLE Scotland’s 1,800 Personal Assistants deliver personalised care and support to enable more than 1,000 people across Scotland to live the life they choose in their own home.
ENABLE Scotland’s CEO Theresa Shearer said:
“As a newly accredited Living Wage employer, ENABLE Scotland is proud to uplift the pay of more than 1,800 frontline keyworkers to ensure we reward and retain the outstanding staff who are supporting vulnerable people to stay safe and well, living the life they choose in their own home.
“The COVID-19 pandemic makes it clearer than ever that excellent self-directed social care is absolutely critical to an integrated health and care system, and our ambition to pay more than the Scottish Living Wage for every hour worked helps ensure social care is a flexible and rewarding career choice.”
Living Wage Employers like ENABLE Scotland are leading the way on the real Living Wage in Scotland, and this commitment will bring stability and security both to the people who work for the charity and those who benefit from their services.
Business Minister Jamie Hepburn MSP said:
“I am always pleased to hear about newly accredited Living Wage employers, especially during Living Wage Week, and I congratulate ENABLE Scotland on achieving Living Wage Accreditation.
“The staff at ENABLE Scotland provide support to thousands of people every day and have played a vital role during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Ensuring staff are treated fairly by paying the real Living Wage is a key aspect of demonstrating a commitment to fair work practices and the Scottish Government encourages all employers, regardless of size or sector, to consider paying the real Living Wage.”
Peter Kelly, Director of the Poverty Alliance said:
“The coronavirus crisis has highlighted just how important frontline care workers are to the communities in which they work, so it is only right that ENABLE Scotland are making this public commitment to their workforce.
“The real Living Wage is one of the key tools at our disposal to make an impact on levels of in-work poverty and we hope to see more employers follow ENABLE’s lead by becoming accredited.”
Lynn Anderson, Living Wage Scotland Interim Manager said:
“We are delighted to welcome ENABLE Scotland to the Living Wage movement.
“Care work is skilled demanding and complex work, but for too long its importance had been undervalued and underfunded. ENABLE Scotland is helping to set the standard for all major employers in Scotland by making sure their workers have what they need to get by. Becoming Living Wage accredited signals to their sizeable workforce that they are valued with at least the real Living Wage.
“It is fantastic to be able to celebrate these accreditations during Living Wage Week, which is the annual celebration of the Living Wage movement in the UK. ENABLE Scotland will be joining our network of over 1800 Scottish employers who together aim to ensure that everyone can earn a decent standard of living.”