North East Sensory Services

28 November 2016

Living Wage accreditation for North-east charity

A North-east charity boss says more can be done to alleviate poverty after an announcement to increase the national living wage.

Graham Findlay, chief executive for North East Sensory Services (NESS), has encouraged employers to pay the independently calculated real living wage, which is 12% higher than the proposed national living wage.

In his autumn statement, chancellor Phillip Hammond announced an increase in the national living wage for over 25s to £7.50 per hour from April 2017. However the real Living Wage, a voluntary initiative delivered by the Poverty Alliance in association with The Living Wage Foundation, is currently set at £8.45.

NESS, which has offices in Aberdeen, Elgin and Dundee has committed to the real Living Wage, paying staff at least £8.45 per hour, whether they are permanent employees or third-party contractors. NESS is one of only 17 organisations in Aberdeen to be accredited as a real Living Wage employer.

The real Living Wage is an hourly rate set independently and updated annually. Rates are calculated by the Resolution Foundation and overseen by the Living Wage Commission, based on the best available evidence on living standards in the UK.

Employers choose to pay the real Living Wage on a voluntary basis. The Living Wage Foundation, The Poverty Alliance and the Scottish Living Wage Campaign say that working is the best way out of poverty.

Mr Findlay, said: “The increase in the national living wage is a positive step, however there is still a long way to go. At NESS we believe strongly in supporting our staff, as they are central to the excellent service we deliver. It is therefore important that we pay everyone a fair and reasonable wage, so we are delighted to have joined the Living Wage campaign. Our commitment to looking after our staff and volunteers earned us a prestigious award from Investors in People earlier this year, and becoming an accredited real Living Wage employer is the next step along that path towards being the best employer we can be.”

Peter Kelly, director of the Poverty Alliance said: “Congratulations to NESS on becoming an accredited Living Wage employer.  

“With two-thirds of children in poverty in Scotland living in a household where someone works, paying the Living Wage is more important than ever.

“Not only does paying the Living Wage ensure that everyone takes home a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work, it has benefits to businesses too, including increased productivity, increased staff retention and lower rates of absenteeism.”