Living Wage Week

To coincide with Living Wage Week (6 to 12 November 2023), we are celebrating the employers and individuals in the South of Scotland pushing the movement forward and encourage others to join over 14,000 accredited employers.

Tweedbank Early Learners

Tweedbank Early Learners (SCIO) have been paying the real Living Wage (£12) to all staff from September 2020, and were accredited in October 2021.

Annmarie Robertson, Trustee and Manager of the Tweedbank Early Learners, said:

“Our accreditation aligns with our holistic approach to managing the charity and our focus on connecting everyone in the organisation through our shared ethos and our vision, value and aims.

“When recruiting qualified practitioners, we have found that promoting our real Living Wage accreditation has removed that perceived barrier of a nursery paying lower wages.

“We have also extended the commitment to our Modern Apprentices who are also paid above the current Real Living Wage rate.

“We are seeing an improvement in staff continuity, with the accreditation a ‘quality mark’ for our stakeholders including families using the service, and partners such as Scottish Borders Council.

“Paying the real Living Wage is a positive statement to our community of how much we value our staff team and of our commitment to Fair Work practices.

“All of our staff have a guaranteed minimum of 16 working hours every week and a contract that accurately reflects their minimum hours worked.

“This takes the stress out of planning ahead, budgeting and saving for our staff.”

Eildon Housing Association

Borders-based Eildon Housing Association gained Real Living Wage Accreditation back in 2016, positively impacting 30 staff at that time, the majority of whom worked in social care services delivered to people with learning disabilities.

Those employees impacted reported the real Living Wage made a big difference to their work and personal lives.

As an accredited Living Wage employer, Eildon is now an active member of the Scottish Borders Living Wage action group, working alongside several local employers including South of Scotland Enterprise and Scottish Borders Council to raise awareness of the benefits of paying the real Living Wage and becoming accredited.

Nile Istephan, CEO of Eildon, said:

“The commitment to the Real Living Wage has given us the opportunity to make a real and valuable statement that our people are valued and do an important and socially valuable job for our customers and communities.

“Colleagues have been fantastic in responding to this statement and have shown huge commitment and engagement to our work in return.

“Our partners and contractors have also seen the value in this commitment and have been supportive of the fair work principles. This results in a real and lasting impact on the local economy.”

South of Scotland Enterprise

A Real Living Wage employer since 2021, we became the first Living Hours employer in the South of Scotland in February 2023.

What is a Living Hours Employer?
  • The 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.  
Caitlin Brodie, a Modern Apprentice at SOSE, said:

“The opportunity to work at SOSE while being paid the real Living Wage has had a huge impact on me.

"Being paid the real Living Wage while being employed on secure working hours has given me financial stability and independence - I have been able to save to buy my first property in the near future.

"This wouldn’t have been possible without SOSE.”

We have played a proactive role in the Scottish Borders Living Wage action group through our Fair Work and Equalities Lead, Seonaid Mann, who has discussed the importance of the real Living Wage in this video.

Living Wage Scotland Awards

Seonaid (Voice), alongside Eildon Housing Association (Outstanding Leadership) and Building Futures Galloway (Employee Choice) were all finalists in the Living Wage Scotland Awards on 9 November.

Want to find out more about becoming a real Living Wage employer?

Lots more information is available from Living Wage Scotland.