Rise to Living Wage will be felt by Scottish nurseries, warns NDNA
Meredith Jones Russell
Wednesday, November 13, 2019
The NDNA says that Scottish nurseries, which must pay the Living Wage to deliver the country's funded hours, will be put under strain with the increase to the rate.
Yesterday, the Living Wage Foundation, which is behind the Living Wage, announced an increase of 30p to the rate, bringing it to £9.30 per hour.
The London Living Wage has also risen to £10.75 per hour.
The Living Wage Foundation says that Living Wage businesses should start paying their staff the new rate as soon as possible. All employees should receive the new rate by 1 May 2020.
The UK rate is now £1.09 per hour more than the Government minimum wage for over 25-year-olds, and the London living wage is £2.54 per hour higher.
Nearly 6,000 UK businesses are paying their staff the Living Wage, which is independently calculated on actual living costs.
While the Living Wage is voluntary, to deliver the 1,140 funded hours for three and four-year-olds in Scotland, early years settings must pay the wage as part of their agreement with their local authority.
With the new increase in the rate, the National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) is concerned for settings whose local authorities do not take into account the cost when setting their funding rates.
Head of policy and external relations Jonathan Broadbery explained, ‘The real Living Wage is an important benchmark on better pay for workers in traditionally low-paid sectors, which childcare has been.
‘We know that nurseries work hard to properly reward their staff but these businesses are being hamstrung by Government underfunding of childcare places for two, three and four-year-olds.
‘The impact will be greatest on nurseries in Scotland where paying staff the real living wage is one of the National Standard requirements for delivering 1,140 hours of funded childcare to three and four-year-olds from next August. Now that the living wage has increased by 30p an hour, local authorities there must take this into consideration when setting their rates for nurseries. These rates must allow nurseries to be sustainable and able to continue investing in quality of provision.’
The Living Wage Foundation is now calling on all major employers to commit to pay a wage in line with the real cost of living.
Living Wage Foundation director, Katherine Chapman, said, ‘In this time of uncertainty today’s new Living Wage rates give a boost to hundreds of thousands of UK workers. Good businesses know that the real Living Wage means happier, healthier and more motivated workers, and that providing workers with financial security is not only the right thing to do, but has real business benefits.’