In Scotland, there are approximately 414,000 people currently paid below the Living Wage.
Heart of Midlothian Football Club has become the first football club in Scotland to become an officially accredited Living Wage Employer. The move will see all staff employers at the club paid the Living Wage. The Living Wage was uprated to £7.85 per hour in November, £1.35 per hour more than the National Minimum Wage.
Peter Kelly, Director of the Poverty Alliance, said:
“Congratulations to Heart of Midlothian on becoming Scotland's first Living Wage Accredited football club. We are delighted that Heart of Midlothian will pay all staff who work at the club the Living Wage, and that they have opted to have their commitment to the Living Wage recognised through the accreditation mark. This is an important step forward for the campaign to end poverty pay in Scotland. Almost two in three children in poverty in Scotland live in a household where someone works, and the Living Wage is a vital tool in lifting people out of in work poverty. Football clubs have an important role in communities across Scotland. 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 but not only giving their staff a pay rise this Christmas, but by showing real leadership on this issue on and off the pitch.”
Chelsea FC has become the first English football club to be accredited as a Living Wage Employer. At the same time the club will also start the process of ensuring staff of external contractors will also receive the Living Wage for working at Stamford Bridge, Cobham training ground and all areas where the club operates. Chelsea will also ensure any additional agency employees not currently meeting the criteria to recieve the Living Wage will also get the same rates of pay.
In contrast, in the Observer, Kevin McKenna writes:
“Last month, Celtic, the richest sporting organisation in Scotland, had to be dragged screaming and protesting by its own fans to a decision to pay the living wage to its full-time employees. The club still refused to budge on a similar rate for its hundreds of part-time workers and was still bleating about remaining competitive and not allowing its wage policy to be influenced by a third party (the Living Wage Foundation). This club was established by poor people for poor people and receives loyal backing still from many poor people. The entire board of directors, a gentrified assortment of CV-embellishers, ought to be made to resign"