Living Wage pledge for care workers

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon meets care workers at St Joseph's Services in Rosewell
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon meets care workers at St Joseph's Services in Rosewell

Workers providing care for vulnerable adults in Scotland deserve to be paid the Living Wage, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said.

During a visit to St Joseph’s Services in Rosewell, the First Minister urged local authorities to agree a funding deal that will support them to pay it to all care workers.

The First Minister said the proposals would allow councils to offer invaluable help to care workers across the country.

Ahead of the recent budget debate, the First Minister met local care workers already being paid the Living Wage, and heard how the additional wages provided much-needed support for those on low incomes, allowing them to remain in the sector and carry out their important work.

Ms Sturgeon said: “Paying the Living Wage for care workers – the vast majority of whom are women – will help improve the incomes of these absolutely crucial workers, retain their talents in the sector and lay strong foundations for the future as the population ages and demand for their services increases.”

Director of St Joseph’s Services Winnie Tuohy said: “A fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work – that should apply to any type of work. It is very important that when people strive to better themselves it should be rewarded.

“The values of our organisation drove us to invest in the movement. Social care has been undervalued for years. The workers have been marginalised and their value not recognised. It’s about justice and equality. On top of this, this type of work is not always attractive. Paying the Living Wage is a good way to promote that it is valuable work.”

Cabinet Secretary for Fair Work, Roseanna Cunningham said: “Our continued commitment to encourage employers across the public, private and third sectors to pay Living Wage is aimed at tackling low pay and ensuring nobody misses out. The benefits to the employers who invest in their staff can be significant, including increased staff morale, reduced absenteeism and higher levels of productivity.”