Latest Public Sector News

20.08.12

Call for ‘living wage’ at private sector contractors

A consultation has been launched on the Living Wage Bill in Scotland, which could force private companies who work for the public sector to pay staff at least £7.20 an hour.

Labour MSP John Park is seeking to change legislation to ensure all workers are paid a living wage. This is currently in place for staff working directly for the Scottish Government, but Park wants this extended to private companies contracted to the government.

In 2011, 28% of private sector employees were paid less than £7.20 an hour.

Park said: “Six out of 10 Scots children live in families suffering from in-work poverty. We have seen a commitment from a range of public sector bodies to pay their employees the living wage but I believe we must go further.

“I believe that if we do not take action on this issue then we are letting down thousands of low-paid, hard-working Scots.”

Ministers have been advised that the change could breach European Union law, but Park believes he has legal advice which states that it is not illegal to force a living wage as a condition of public contracts.

The consultation on the bill will run until December.

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@publicsectorexecutive.com

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