Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has become an accredited Living Wage employer through Living Wage Scotland.
This comes during Challenge Poverty Week (7th-13th October), which brings together local groups across the country with national organisations.
The Scotland-wide campaign is designed to show that poverty exists in Scotland and affects us all, that people can work to end it, that it restricts people’s ability to take part in society, and that it can be solved by boosting incomes and reducing costs of living.
As well as paying the living wage to employees the Comhairle has also decided to pay the living wage rate to Apprentices.
Comhairle Leader, Cllr Roddie Mackay, said:
“The Comhairle is pleased to be taking part in Challenge Poverty Week. With today’s theme being “Employment and in-work poverty”, it is very appropriate that the Comhairle has today announced that it has gained accreditation as a Living Wage Employer.
“We are committed to our successful apprenticeship programme and I look forward to seeing the benefits which today’s announcement will bring. It is important that we do everything we can to try and reverse depopulation and make it appealing for people to work in the Western Isles.”
Peter Kelly, Director of the Poverty Alliance, said:
“We are delighted that Comhairle nan Eilean Siar have become an accredited Living Wage employer. They join a movement of over 1500 Scottish employers who choose to go beyond the legal minimum and ensure that all their staff receive a rate of pay that is based on the cost of living.
The announcement comes during Challenge Poverty Week when more than 200 groups and organisations across Scotland will be showcasing the action we need to tackle poverty, including what can be done to address in-work poverty.
With more than half of children in poverty in Scotland living in a household where someone works, employers choosing to take action to loosen the grip of poverty and pay a real Living Wage that reflects the cost of living has never been more important.”
Jack Evans, Living Wage Scotland Manager said:
“Congratulations to Comhairle nan Eilean Siar on becoming a Living Wage accredited employer. Their accreditation is a signal of their commitment to tackle low pay and in-work poverty. It is also an important milestone for the Living Wage movement as now over half of Scottish Local Authorities are accredited Living Wage employers.
Local Authorities are key employers in their local area. They are not only large employers with significant spending power, but also act as an example to other employers in the area. We hope, after today’s announcement, more are encouraged to become accredited and ensure that both directly employed and contracted staff are paid the real Living Wage.”