Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home Becomes Leading Animal Welfare Employer with Living Wage

20/06/2019

Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home has celebrated becoming the first animal welfare organisation in Scotland to be accredited as a Living Wage employer.

The Living Wage commitment will see everyone working at Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home, regardless of whether they are direct employees or third-party contracted staff, receive a minimum hourly wage of £9.00. This rate is significantly higher than the statutory minimum for over 25s of £8.21 per hour, introduced in April 2019.

Lindsay Fyffe-Jardine, Director of Operations/Deputy to the CEO at Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home, discussed the significance of this achievement within the animal welfare sector. She said:

“We at Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home feel enormously proud that our organisation has taken the lead on Living Wage in the Scottish animal welfare sector. The real Living Wage represents the empowerment and betterment of staff in a world where inequalities continue to grow. It’s the right time to acknowledge that valuing staff should not only be set in organisational statements but also in organisational action.

“We’re aware that animal welfare and animal care roles as a sector and profession are often not well paid, they can often be described as careers of passion rather than financial reward. We have changed that notion by embracing the real Living Wage and by doing this moving the sector to recognising the skill, professionalism and expertise that is required to work with animals-particularly rescue animals.

“Ultimately by valuing our people and what they do, we are valuing our animals, the quality of their care and the second chance at life that we hope to give them with a new family. Happy people means happy animals.”

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. 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. We are delighted to congratulate Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home on becoming a Living Wage employer. I hope more organisations follow their lead by becoming accredited.”

Julie McGahan, Living Wage Scotland Manager said:

“We are delighted to welcome Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home to the Living Wage movement.

We are a movement of over 1,400 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, D.C. Thomson and many more.

These businesses recognise that the Living Wage accreditation is the mark of a responsible employer and they, like Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home join us, because they too believe that a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay."

The real Living Wage is an hourly rate set independently and updated annually. The Living Wage is calculated according to the real costs of living, and employers choose to pay it on a voluntary basis.

Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home’s commitment to provide the Living Wage is part of a wider wellbeing strategy, which it launched earlier this year. The new strategy aims to put more focus on supporting staff health and wellbeing across the organisation. In addition to initiatives like Living Wage, the Home has launched a staff wellbeing room, which has been named ‘Paws and Chill’ by its staff. The room is designed to help support staff wellbeing by allowing a quiet space for breaks to relax by either reading, using a massage mat or meditation.

Edinburgh Kiltwalk

Location: Edinburgh 
Time: Various
Date: Sunday 15 September 2019

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