HEALTH MATTERS: NHSGGC becomes a Living Wage Employer

By Bill Heaney

The importance of the work being done by cleaners and other ancillary staff in hospitals and health centres has been recognised at last.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has become an accredited Living Wage employer, positioning them as the largest NHS Board in Scotland to have done so.

The recognition comes during Living Wage Week and has been warmly welcomed by Living Wage Scotland and the Poverty Alliance.

The Health Board’s Living Wage commitment will see everyone working for them receive the minimum hourly wage, which will rise each year to match future rates. This new Living Wage rate of £9.50 was announced on Monday (9 November) as part of Living Wage Week.

Full time workers receiving the independently calculated Living Wage earn over £1500 more each year than the government’s ‘National Living Wage’.

Over time, this accreditation will benefit workers employed by third party contractors and is a long-term commitment to all its staff that they will continue to be paid the Living Wage.

Anne MacPherson, Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development, said: “As part of our commitment to Fair Work, our employees were already paid the real Living Wage. The final part of the accreditation journey was great work undertaken by our procurement team to contact all our suppliers who have workers on our sites to inform them of our intention to become accredited and to ask them to consider uplifting their staff to the real Living Wage if they had not already done so.

“The majority of our suppliers already paid their staff the real Living Wage, and a number of others uplifted their staff to the rate when we raised it with them. There are clear timescales created for the rest to enable real Living Wages for all contracted staff.”

Dorothy McErlean, Employee Director,Trade unions and professional organisations. said: “We are pleased NHSGGC is recognised as a Living Wage employer.  Increasing the wages of the lowest paid employees and reducing the level of in-work poverty is a key priority for our unions – many families are currently facing financial strain because of the pandemic.  We commend the organisation for committing to ensuring that all staff working on our sites, whether NHSGGC employees or contracted staff, will receive the real Living Wage rate.”

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde fulfills key roles and provide essential services in their area, and the pandemic has shone a light on the important role of key workers in keeping our society going. Through their accreditation, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde is helping to ensure that their key workers are free to focus on their vital work, while their families have what they need to thrive.

Peter Kelly, Director of the Poverty Alliance, said: “We are delighted that NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has become an accredited Living Wage employer.

“We know that the real Living Wage can bring improvements in both the physical and mental well-being of workers and is an important aspect of tackling both in-work poverty health inequalities in Scotland.

“The accreditation of NHSGGC as the largest health board in Scotland signals to all major employers and public institutions that they too can do right by their workers by becoming Living Wage accredited.”


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