The Scottish Police Authority and Police Scotland have been formally accredited as living wage employers by Living Wage Scotland.

The commitment will see everyone who works either directly for, or who is contracted by, the SPA or Police Scotland earn more than the minimum rate of £9 an hour. This is significantly higher than the government minimum wage for over 25s of £8.21 per hour.

Jude Helliker, Director of People and Development said: “I am delighted the SPA and Police Scotland have been formally accredited as a Living Wage employers. A key enabler of our successful application was the work undertaken to introduce a new pay and grading model as part of the Staff Pay and Reward Modernisation Project. The minimum wage now offered by SPA/Police Scotland is higher than the real Living Wage in Scotland.

“Our people are our most important asset and as a responsible employer we recognise the importance of paying the real Living Wage and the difference it can make to the lives of people. Our staff work hard to deliver key services to the people and communities of Scotland and deserve to be paid a fair rate of pay.”

Jack Evans, Living Wage Scotland Manager said: “We are delighted to welcome SPA/Police Scotland to the Living Wage movement. We are a movement of more than 1400 Scottish employers who together want to go further than the government minimum to make sure all their staff earn enough to live on. SPA/Police Scotland will join other organisations across Scotland and the UK who have already achieved Living Wage Employer accreditation such as Scottish Government, Scottish Fire & Rescue, Scottish Prison Service, Scottish Water, Audit Scotland and many more.

“These organisations recognise that paying the real Living Wage is the mark of a responsible employer and they, like SPA/Police Scotland believe that a ‘hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay.”

Peter Kelly, Director of Poverty Alliance said: “The real Living Wage is one of the key tools at our disposal to help make an impact on levels of in-work poverty in Scotland. There is a strong business case for paying the real Living Wage; but crucially it allows those in work to become more included in society, better provide for their families, and feel that their value and hard work is recognised by their employer. We are delighted to congratulate SPA/Police Scotland on becoming a Living Wage employer. I hope more organisations follow their lead by becoming accredited”

In Scotland, nearly a fifth of all jobs pay less than the real Living Wage – around 404,000 posts.

The real Living Wage is an hourly rate, set independently and updated annually, and is the only rate calculated according to the real costs of living. It provides a voluntary benchmark for employers that wish to ensure their staff earn a wage they can live on, not just the government minimum.

Since 2011 the Living Wage movement has delivered a pay rise to over 160,000 people and put over £800m extra into the pockets of low paid workers.