Fife Voluntary Action is the first voluntary sector organisation in Fife to be accredited as a Living Wage employer.
The Living Wage commitment means that all employees, regardless of whether they are permanent staff or third-party contractors and suppliers, receive a minimum hourly wage of £7.85 - significantly higher than the national minimum wage of £6.50.
There are now six Living Wage accredited employers in Fife; five are private sector employers and Fife Voluntary Action is the first voluntary, or ‘third sector’ addition to the list.
Chief Executive Kenny Murphy said: “It’s important for employers across all sectors to do what they can to support their staff to meet the household budget pressures that everybody faces. Almost every employer will say that their people are their main asset – they need to do what they can to demonstrate this practically through driving up wages and conditions, particularly for lower paid staff.
“We're committed to providing excellent working conditions for our hard-working employees – they do a tremendous job across Fife, transforming lives and communities. We’re delighted to be leading the way within the third sector and we will encourage others to follow suit, although we recognise that this is difficult in the current financial climate with growing pressure on grants and donations and increasing costs.”
Employers choose to pay the Living Wage on a voluntary basis, and it enjoys cross party support in both the Scottish and Westminster parliaments.
Living Wage Foundation Director, Rhys Moore said: “We are delighted to welcome Fife Voluntary Action to the Living Wage movement as an accredited employer.
“The best employers are voluntarily signing up to pay the Living Wage now. The Living Wage is a robust calculation that reflects the real cost of living, rewarding a hard day’s work with a fair day’s pay.
“We have accredited over 1,000 leading employers ranging from independent printers, hairdressers and breweries, to well-known companies such as Nationwide, Aviva and SSE. These businesses recognise that clinging to the national minimum wage is not good for business. Customers expect better than that."
The Living Wage is calculated according to the basic cost of living using the ‘Minimum Income Standard’ for the UK. Decisions about what to include in this standard are set by the public; it is a social consensus about what people need to make ends meet.