Breakthrough Dundee has become an accredited Living Wage employer, with the announcement being made as part of Living Wage Week (11th – 15th November).
The Dundee based charity, started in 2017, work in partnership with the City Council and all of Dundee’s secondary schools. They currently employ 12 people, eight of whom are based full time in the city’s schools. Their programme of work is primarily aimed at S1-S6 young people with experience of the care system or who are facing significant challenges.
Breakthrough believes that every young person, regardless of their background, social circumstances or personal challenges, should have the opportunity to achieve their full potential, the same life chances and the same fulfilment as their peers.
Jenny Paterson, CEO of Breakthrough Dundee, said: “Breakthrough has always been a Living Wage employer and we are delighted to be have this formally recognised through the accreditation process and I would encourage other local organisations to sign up.”
Ellis Watson, Chief Executive, Breakthrough Dundee, said: “Being a successful employer depends on having a healthy and happy workforce. Employees will only be truly engaged if they are treated fairly and that’s got to start with paying them a fair wage.
Whilst Breakthrough Dundee has been a Living Wage employer since it’s inception, it is wonderful that it has received formal acknowledgement in the incredibly important Living Wage programme.”
This is the first Living Wage Week since Dundee became the first Living Wage City in the UK earlier this year.
In March 2019, over 50 Dundee employers voluntarily committed to ensure all their staff and subcontracted staff received the real Living Wage. These employers, who included major local business such as Dundee City Council, Dundee Voluntary Action, Dundee & Angus College, Xplore Dundee and Dundee & Angus Chamber of Commerce, totalled more than a quarter of the workforce in the city.
Jack Evans, Living Wage Scotland Manager, said, “We are delighted to welcome Breakthrough to the Living Wage movement.
We are a movement of over 1600 Scottish employers who together want to go further than the government minimum to make sure that all their staff earn enough to live on. We have lots of smaller employers as well as larger and iconic Scottish employers like SSE, Standard Life, Barrs, Mackies, ScotRail, DC Thomson and many more.
These businesses recognise that the Living Wage accreditation is the mark of a responsible employer and they, like Breakthrough join us, because they too believe that a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay.”
Peter Kelly, Director of the Poverty Alliance, said, “The real Living Wage is one of the key tools at our disposal to help make an impact on levels of in-work poverty in Scotland.
The Living Wage accreditation of Breakthrough signals to both their staff and the people they support that they are a values-led employer, and that they believe in paying their staff enough to afford basic living costs.
There is a strong business case for paying the real Living Wage; but crucially it allows those in work to become more included in society, better provide for their families, and feel that their value and hard work is recognised by their employer. Congratulations to Breakthrough on becoming accredited”
On Monday, in conjunction with Living Wage Week, it was announced that the real Living Wage had been increased from £9.00 to £9.30 per hour.
The Living Wage is calculated to reflect the cost of living, the rate is set at what workers should earn in order to cover the cost of living in the UK.
More than 6,000 employers in the UK are estimated to be paying the real Living Wage rate, with over 1,600 based in Scotland.