Minister shows support for fair pay campaign

from left, Eildon Housing Association human resources manager Deborah Taggart, Borders College care and access faculty head Jayne Gracie, Waverley Housing chief executive Margaret Ross, MSP Paul Wheelhouse, SB Cares operations director Lynne Crombie and Waverley Housing finance manager Reuben Basak.
from left, Eildon Housing Association human resources manager Deborah Taggart, Borders College care and access faculty head Jayne Gracie, Waverley Housing chief executive Margaret Ross, MSP Paul Wheelhouse, SB Cares operations director Lynne Crombie and Waverley Housing finance manager Reuben Basak.

Borders employers rounded off Living Wage Week with a visit from Scottish Government business, innovation and energy minister Paul Wheelhouse last Friday.

The Scottish National Party regional list MSP paid a visit to Waverley Housing in Hawick along with representatives of several other living wage employers in the region.

Also represented were Eildon Housing Association, Borders College and SB Cares, the latest Borders employer to receive living wage accreditation.

The gathering was the culmination of a week which saw a new living wage rate of £8.75 an hour announced.

The Scottish accreditation programme, run by the Poverty Alliance with funding from the Scottish Government, has recruited 1,000 employers in just three and a half years.

Mr Wheelhouse, said: “Becoming living wage-accredited makes real sense for businesses in the Scottish Borders.

“It’s an investment in people, and research shows it leads to increased productivity, reduced staff absence and improved morale and reduced recruitment costs whilst sending a strong signal to customers about fairness.”

David Thomson, board chairman of Waverley Housing, said: “As a living wage employer since 2015, and being the first registered social landlord in Scotland to become a living wage employer, we are fully committed to supporting the living wage in Scotland and encourage more employers in the Borders region and beyond to back this important initiative.”

SB Cares managing director Philip Barr said: “We are delighted to join those employers in Scotland, and in particular in the Borders region, who have become accredited living wage employers.

“Fair pay and equality for employees are at the core of our organisation.”