Galashiels based Tweedbank Early Learners has become accredited as a Living Wage Employer. Their Living Wage commitment will see everyone working at Tweedbank Early Learners receive a minimum hourly wage of £9.90 per hour.
Tweedbank’s Living Wage accreditation strengthens the local movement of over 40 accredited Living Wage employers in Scottish Borders and 17 in the Eildon area. In September 2021, an alliance of prominent Eildon based employers announced their ambitious plans to “Make Eildon a Living Wage Place”.
These employers include NHS Borders, Scottish Borders Council, Eildon Housing Association, the South of Scotland Enterprise Board (SOSE), Scottish Borders Chamber of Commerce and WSZ Joiners. More than 9000 workers are covered by a Living Wage commitment in Eildon.
Martin Whitfield MSP visited the nursery during Living Wage week, an annual celebration of the real Living Wage in the UK, to congratulate them on becoming accredited and find out more about the innovative social enterprise.
Speaking after the visit, Martin Whitfield MSP said:
“I congratulate Tweedbank Early Learners on achieving their Living Wage accreditation and contributing to the important wider Living Wage activity taking place in the Eildon area.
“The early learning and childcare sector is an important focus for the Living Wage and it’s great to see Tweedbank Early Learners setting a positive example for other providers in the Borders and beyond.”
Annmarie Robertson, Manager & Trustee at Tweedbank Early Learners said:
“As a charity, of course we need to ensure our sustainability and be able to continue investing in our quality of provision for the families using our service.
“However, I believe that maintaining a strong relationship with employees is key to the success of any organisation and paying our dedicated staff the wages they deserve – the real Living Wage – gives added benefits such as increased staff morale and helps in the recruitment and retention of staff.
“Using the real Living Wage as the basis for our salary structure ensures fairness and equality within our organisation. Staff are also reassured that their wages will be reviewed annually and increased in line with the real Living Wage.”
Christine McCaig, Projects Coordinator at Living Wage Scotland said:
“We are delighted to welcome Tweedbank Early Learners to the Living Wage movement, strengthening the local activity in Eildon.
“We are a movement of over 2400 Scottish employers who together want to go further than the government minimum. Our growing network in Eildon includes a range of employers including NHS Borders, WSZ Joiners and Eildon Housing Association.
“Employers like Tweedbank Early Learners recognise the importance of valuing staff with a wage that reflects living costs, and we hope to see many more employers following their example.”
The real Living Wage rate this year has largely been driven by sharply rising fuel and rent costs. The real Living Wage is different to the Government minimum wage for over 23s, called the ‘National Living Wage (NLW). While the real Living Wage is independently calculated based on living costs and is paid by employers voluntarily, the government’s NLW is based on a percentage of median earnings, and all employers are required to pay it.
In Scotland, more than 14% of all jobs pay less than the real Living Wage – around 330,000 jobs. Despite this, Tweedbank Early Learners has committed to pay the real Living Wage and deliver a fair day’s pay for a hard day’s work.
Since 2011 the Living Wage movement has delivered a pay rise to over 52,000 people in Scotland and put over £310 million extra into the pockets of low paid Scottish workers.
Find out more about Living Wage Week at https://scottishlivingwage.org/living-wage-week