Living Wage Week takes place each November to raise awareness of the living wage, to celebrate Living Wage Employers and to encourage others to follow suit. 2nd November marked the start of the 2014 week, and brought the welcome announcement of a rise in the living wage to £7.85 per hour.
I have long supported the campaign to encourage employers to pay the living wage, and welcomed attempts earlier this year by Labour MSPs to encourage the Scottish Government to extend the payment of the living wage to all public sector contractors – that would mean a pay rise of over £2,600 to a full-time worker currently on the minimum wage. Unfortunately the Scottish Government didn’t support this.
My Labour colleague James Kelly MSP took the opportunity of Living Wage Week to celebrate the benefits of the living wage, highlight the recent pledge from the Department of Energy and Climate Change that all of its staff, including sub-contracted staff, will be paid at least the living wage, and renew the call on the Scottish Government to do the same. Disappointingly the SNP Government failed to support proposals to implement a strategy to encourage employers to pay the living wage, but I will continue to campaign for the living wage so that everyone gets a fair day’s pay for a hard day’s work.