Voluntary Action Angus (VAA) has today become one of the first organisations in the third sector in Angus to become an accredited Living Wage Employer.
The Living Wage is an hourly rate set independently and updated annually, based on the cost living in the UK. It is now set at £7.45 per hour, up from the previous rate of £7.20 per hour. The Living Wage is the pay needed to provide an adequate standard of living, compared to the national minimum wage rate of £6.19 an hour.
Gary Malone, VAA chief executive, said: “I am delighted to confirm that we will pay a living wage to all of our colleagues. Poverty in families where some or all adults are in work is a problem that has been creeping up on us for many years, but recently in-work poverty has begun to outstrip out-of-work poverty.
“This is why pay matters and why Voluntary Action Angus took the decision. I would urge more employers to make a commitment to paying a living wage “
Rhys Moore, director of the Living Wage Foundation, which awarded the accreditation, said that the benefits the Living Wage brings to staff and business are clear.
He added: “I welcome the leadership shown by Voluntary Action Angus on this important issue.”
Voluntary Action Angus recently made other commitments to help combat poverty in Angus. Between October 12 and 18 – Challenge Poverty Week - VAA is organising events in Arbroath and Forfar that will to bring to public attention the reality of poverty in Scotland.
Rachel Green, social policy manager, said: “During Challenge Poverty Week we will be organising a range of activities to challenge negative and stereotypical views of people experiencing poverty and highlight where progress is being made to address this issue.
“It is still widely believed that poverty is inevitable, or is a result of ‘personal failure’. Scotland is an affluent country, widening inequalities damage our whole society and should not be tolerated.”