1 in 4 public sector staff not getting Living Wage

One in four public sector staff are not being paid the Living Wage. Picture: Getty

One in four public sector staff are not being paid the Living Wage. Picture: Getty

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MORE than a quarter of workers employed on public sector contracts in Scotland earn less than the Living Wage, new research has shown.

About 39,000 workers earned less than the £7.85 hourly rate, said the Scottish Parliament’s information centre (SPICE).

Labour’s fair work spokesman Neil Findlay, who ­commissioned the work, is now demanding government action to tackle this. He wants all staff on the books of private firms doing work for the public sector to be paid living wage rates.

“To discover 26.5 per cent of those employed on public ­sector contracts are on poverty pay is shocking,” Mr Findlay said.

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“Labour’s manifesto promise at the general election will be to increase the minimum wage to £8 an hour. We’ll also bring in new public procurement guidance to make sure all workers employed in the public sector will, in future, get a decent day’s pay. We want to make sure that these sought-after public sector contracts are not awarded on the basis of a race to the ­bottom.”

He accused the SNP government of failing to act when it had the chance in the recent Procurement Bill at Holyrood.

The SNP has introduced the Living Wage across all directly employed public sector staff. The wage is voluntary and compares with the mandatory minimum wage of £6.50.

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