Parliament to consider ‘living wage’

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HOLYROOD bosses have promised to look into making the Scottish Parliament a “living wage” employer and requiring firms who win contracts to pay staff at least £7.20 an hour.

The move came after Lothians Labour MSP Kezia Dugdale said she feared some workers in the parliament were paid less than the living wage – a rate calculated on the basis of what someone working a 40-hour week would need to earn to reach an acceptable standard of living.

Labour MSP David Stewart, on behalf of the Scottish Parliament Corporate Body, said staff employed directly by parliament were paid above the living wage, but it was the responsibility of contractors, such as catering and cleaning firms, to set pay for their own staff.

He said, however, that Ms Dugdale made a “convincing case” for the parliament to sign up as a living wage employer and promised to raise the issue at the next meeting of the SPCB.

He added: “In terms of future contracts, I will request the corporate body costs a living wage option and as far as existing contracts are concerned, there is a yearly review of costs of wages.”