South of Scotland first as SOSE becomes Living Hours Employer

South of Scotland first as SOSE becomes Living Hours Employer

South of Scotland Enterprise has become the first accredited Living Hours employer in the region. 

SOSE is the first employer across the South of Scotland to gain the accreditation and are the 18th Living Hours accredited employer in Scotland.

What is required to gain accreditation? 

  • 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.   
  • South of Scotland Enterprise has been an accredited Living Wage employer since 2021. This announcement of the commitment to Living Hours further demonstrates the importance placed on setting standards for fair work.

Research published in 2021 by the Living Wage Foundation showed that 11% of workers in Scotland are in insecure work and paid below the Living Wage. This is approximately 300,000 workers. 

The Living Hours standard was created to ensure that people have predictable working patterns and income, enabling them to better plan their lives.  

In July 2021 Living Wage Scotland began delivering the Living Hours accreditation programme to increase the number of Scottish employers recognised for offering Living Hours alongside a real Living Wage.

The scheme is delivered through the Living Wage Scotland programme at the Poverty Alliance and is funded by the Scottish Government.  

Professor Russel Griggs, Chair of SOSE, said:

“One of SOSE’s key aims since our inception three years ago is to promote Fair Work amongst our region’s businesses and organisations – which essentially means being a responsible employer.

“At this uncertain time it is especially important to be a responsible employer, and by doing so it can provide mutual benefits for individuals, organisations and wider society.

“We are delighted to become an accredited Living Hours employer, and now want to use it to encourage the organisations and businesses in our region to work towards their own Living Hours accreditation, for the good of the South of Scotland.”

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.”

Minister for Just Transition, Employment and Fair Work Richard Lochhead added:

“South of Scotland Enterprise plays a key role in driving the regional economy by ensuring businesses and communities in the South thrive and grow.

"As part of this, the organisation itself has been committed to paying the real Living Wage and now I commend them on gaining Living Hours Accreditation.

"They are joining a growing number of employers who are taking additional steps to protect their workers from low pay and insecure work.

"Living Hours enables workers to better plan their life around work, which in turn contributes to worker wellbeing and job satisfaction.”

"I encourage other Living Wage Accredited employers to look at the scheme and sign up to become Living Hours accredited.”

Rachel Morrison-McCormick, Projects Co-Ordinator, from Living Wage Scotland said:  

“There are over 2900 Scottish-based employers that are committed to paying at least the real Living Wage, and it’s fantastic to see South of Scotland Enterprise take further steps to protect their workers from low pay and insecure work by becoming Living Hours accredited.  

"The values that led them to commit to the real Living Wage are the same values that have led to their expanded commitment to fair work at a time when workers need it most.”