Highlands & Islands

Caledonian MacBrayne vows to pay staff living wage

calmac ferry Image copyright PA

Caledonian MacBrayne has become the latest employer in Scotland to commit to paying the living wage.

The company said it was the first ferry operator in the UK and first major transport firm north of the border to gain official Living Wage accreditation.

The recognition is made by the Poverty Alliance on behalf of the Living Wage foundation.

CalMac said it was "right and proper" to pay staff "fairly for their work".

About 300 companies and organisations in Scotland, and 1,600 throughout the UK, have signed up to the Living Wage Foundation's higher rates.

Chancellor George Osborne announced a new National Living Wage as part of his Budget in July, but this is lower than the rates set by the Living Wage Foundation.

'Recognised fairly'

CalMac's managing director Martin Dorchester said: "It is absolutely right and proper that CalMac's employees should earn a Living Wage.

"It is something we were already doing with our staff and gaining accreditation simply formalises our commitment to this.

"A recent independent study by the Fraser of Allander Institute into CalMac's social and economic impact across the network found that its staff earn 12% more than the Scottish average.

"This reflects not only the importance we place on ensuring our staff - often in areas where job opportunities can be limited and also low paid - are financially recognised fairly for their work, but that they can live well within the prevailing financial climate."

Peter Kelly, director of the Poverty Alliance, said: "As the first ferry company to become accredited, CalMac is leading the way.

"With over half of children in poverty in Scotland living in a household where someone works, paying the Living Wage is now more important than ever.

"We hope to see more employers following in CalMac's steps in the coming weeks and months."

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