Hearts become official living-wage employer

Hearts has joined a further 70 employers in Scotland who are now accredited. Picture: SNS

Hearts has joined a further 70 employers in Scotland who are now accredited. Picture: SNS

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HEART OF MIDLOTHIAN is the first football club in Scotland to become an official living-wage employer.

All staff will be paid at least the living wage of £7.85 - £1.35 per hour more than the national minimum wage.

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The living wage is aimed at reflecting the actual cost of living, and is paid voluntarily by some employers, while the minimum wage is a legal requirement.

The Scottish Government has guaranteed the living wage to its own staff and encourages employers across the public and private sector to adopt it.

The Scottish Living Wage Accreditation Initiative provides support and advice to organisations that wish to pay the living wage.

Hearts has joined a further 70 employers in Scotland who are now accredited.

Peter Kelly, director of the Poverty Alliance, which delivers the accreditation initiative, said: “Congratulations to Heart of Midlothian on becoming Scotland’s first living wage-accredited football club.

“Football clubs have an important role in communities across Scotland.

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“With thousands of people turning out every week to support their local clubs, they can play an important leadership role, not only for fans but for the businesses they work with.

“I hope that more clubs will follow Heart of Midlothian’s example by not only giving their staff a pay rise this Christmas, but by showing real leadership on this issue on and off the pitch.”

A Heart of Midlothian spokesman said: “The club feels that implementing the living wage is entirely in keeping with the values that we hold dear as Edinburgh’s oldest football club.

“Since revealing our intention to implement the living wage the club has received widespread backing from both our supporters and sponsors.”

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Labour’s infrastructure spokesman James Kelly said: “I would like to congratulate Hearts on blazing a trail for football clubs in Scotland by becoming the latest living wage employer.

“I believe they will soon see the business benefits of the living wage - improved staff performance and morale combined with reduced absenteeism and staff turnover.

“The living wage is an open goal Hearts have not missed and they’ll see great results in no time.”

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