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Updates from the Living Wage Foundation

SSE Announced as Newest Living Hours Employer

Scottish energy provider SSE has been confirmed as an accredited Living Hours Employer – underlining its commitment to providing workers with secure, guaranteed working hours.  

The business a leading advocate of the Living Wage movement, has been working towards accreditation for some time. The announcement further demonstrates the importance it places on setting strong standards on fair work and better support for workers and families.

Laura Gardiner, Living Wage Foundation Director, said:
We’re delighted that SSE has accredited as a Living Hours Employer. This is a challenging time, with the pandemic having affected all of our lives and livelihoods in some way. 

But it has also shown the importance of providing workers and families with stability and security. As we look to start our economic recovery, there is strong public support for employers to provide their staff with stable and guaranteed hours. By becoming a Living Hours Employer, and committing to decent work, businesses like SSE are helping to lead us out of this crisis.”

John Stewart, SSE HR Director, said:

“The real Living Wage movement has been an incredible phenomenon, championing the fundamental truth that people should be able earn enough to live a decent life. Living Hours is the other side of that coin. The amount of pay employees take home can be affected by irregular and unpredictable hours.

The majority of our direct employees are already on contracts which meet the Living Hours requirements, but it is right that a company like SSE, headquartered in the UK and delivering some of the biggest projects in the fight against climate change, should guarantee higher standards for workers. This is fundamental to ensuring there is a fair and just transition to net zero. 

Like with our Living Wage accreditation, the most important impact of Living Hours is that, in time, it will flow through our supply chain activities and benefit those working regularly on our behalf too. It is the right thing to do and we are very proud to have achieved this accreditation and hope it will help show others the way.”


The Living Hours programme requires employers to both pay a real Living Wage and commit to provide at least four weeks’ notice for every shift, with guaranteed payment if shifts are cancelled within this notice period. 

Living Hours employers also provide a guaranteed minimum of 16 working hours every week (unless the worker requests otherwise), and a contract that accurately reflects hours worked.


About Living Hours 

The campaign for a real Living Wage has ensured hundreds of thousands of workers are earning a wage they can live on, not just the government minimum. But millions of low paid workers are also struggling to get the hours they need to make ends meet. That’s why the Living Wage Foundation has developed a new standard of what good looks like for those employers that can offer ‘Living Hours’ alongside a real Living Wage. 

Living Hours is a new standard that sets out what good looks like. It calls on employers to provide the right to: 

·       Decent notice periods for shifts: of at least 4 weeks’ notice, with guaranteed payment if shifts are cancelled within this notice period. 

·       A right to a contract with living hours: the right to a contract that reflects accurate hours worked, and a guaranteed minimum of 16 hours a week (unless the

worker requests otherwise) 

Living Hours employers include SSE, Aviva, Standard Life Aberdeen, Datagraphic and 1st Alliance Credit Union 


About the Living Wage 

The real Living Wage is the only rate calculated according to what people need to make ends meet. It provides a voluntary benchmark for employers that choose to take a stand, by ensuring their staff earn a wage that meets the costs and pressures they face in their everyday lives.  

The UK Living Wage is currently £9.50 per hour. There is a separate London Living Wage rate of £10.85 per hour to reflect the higher costs of transport, childcare and housing in the capital. These figures are calculated annually by the Resolution Foundation and overseen by the Living Wage Commission, based on the best available evidence on living standards in London and the UK. 

The Living Wage Foundation is the organisation at the heart of the movement of businesses, organisations and individuals who campaign for the simple idea that a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay. The Living Wage Foundation receives guidance and advice from the Living Wage Advisory Council. The Foundation is supported by our principal partners: Aviva; IKEA; Joseph Rowntree Foundation; KPMG; Linklaters; Nationwide; Nestlé; Resolution Foundation; Oxfam; Trust for London; People’s Health Trust; and Queen Mary University of London. 

15th April 2021
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