Historic Environment Scotland (HES) has today [8 November 2017] received accreditation as a Living Wage Employer, as recognised by the Poverty Alliance, the Living Wage Foundation and the Scottish Government.

Speaking ahead of visiting Melrose Abbey to present representatives of HES staff with a plaque celebrating accreditation, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said: “This is fantastic news which will make a real difference, guaranteeing that all HES employees will earn at least the Living Wage.

It is testament to the hard work undertaken by the Scottish Government, the Poverty Alliance and Historic Environment Scotland and I congratulate them on their efforts.

“The Scottish Government wants to encourage even more organisations to recognise the benefits of paying the Living Wage and ensure employees’ basic wage continues to meet the real cost of living.”

The Living Wage, which this week increased to £8.75 from £8.45 per hour, will be extended to all 1,392 employees of HES by May 2018. To ensure staff do not lose out due to wider economic conditions, the Living Wage rate is reviewed annually to ensure that it continues to meet the cost of living in Scotland, providing workers with a decent salary. The real Living Wage seeks to meet the cost of living in Scotland, including the cost of accommodation, food and accounting for factors such as inflation.

Welcoming the accreditation HES Director of Corporate Services Gary Love said: “This is the latest success in a great year for HES. To value the past and the many properties we care for, we have to value our staff whose hard work ensures that visitors have access to our services, that our archives are continually being expanded and that our education programme is delivered to a world-class standard.

“I’m very proud that we have achieved this accreditation in what is only our second full year of operation, and I look forward to continuing our work with the Poverty Alliance to ensure that we deliver the best we can for our teams.”

HES has worked to ensure that all staff were paid the Living Wage. This has included ensuring that internships are remunerated, that apprentices are paid a fair wage alongside their training and working with contractors to encourage them to play the living wage.

Peter Kelly, Director of the Poverty Alliance who host the Living Wage Accreditation Initiative in Scotland congratulated HES on achieving their accreditation, saying:

“I am delighted to welcome Historic Environment Scotland to the Living Wage employer movement.

With economic uncertainly becoming a feature of our economy, the commitment that Living Wage employers are showing should be applauded. Over the coming years we will continue to work with Historic Environment Scotland and other employers to ensure that even more workers can benefit from the real Living Wage.

The announcement of HES’ accreditation as a Living Wage Employer comes during Living Wage Week, which sees organisations encouraged to join the scheme and learn more about the benefits for staff and employees. HES has joined more than 1000 organisations who have pledged to ensure their staff are paid a living wage.

The Living Wage is one of many voluntary schemes supported by HES to enhance working conditions for staff. Wellbeing sessions are available for all staff, along with flexible working arrangements, continuous personal development and supporting young people into work through paid apprenticeships.

Notes for editors: 

  • As a voluntary measure to support young people into work, HES has extended the Living Wage to all employees under the age of 18.

  • As part of accreditation as a Living Wage Employer, HES has reviewed contracts with external organisations and taken measures to encourage their adoption of the living wage. Payment of the living wage will be considered alongside other factors when contracts come up for renewal. 

About Historic Environment Scotland (HES)

Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017

2017 is the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology (HHA), a year that will celebrate Scotland’s people, our distinct culture and traditions, our historic landscapes, attractions and icons as well as our hidden gems and amazing stories. From World Heritage Sites to ancient monuments, listed buildings to historic battlefields, cultural traditions to our myths, stories and legends, 2017 is the year to explore Scotland’s fascinating past. This is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland and a variety of partners.

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For further information, please contact:

Seumas Skinner
Historic Environment Scotland Media Office
Direct Line: 0131 668 8714
Mobile: 07776 243 809
seumas.skinner@hes.scot

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