WHALE Arts Agency, a community-led arts charity and social enterprise in Wester Hailes, South West Edinburgh, has joined over 800 other organisations across Scotland to become an accredited Living Wage employer.
The Living Wage commitment will see everyone working at WHALE Arts, regardless of whether they are permanent employees or third-party contractors; receive a real Living Wage of at least £8.45 per hour, which is significantly higher than government minimum wage of £6.70 and the new minimum wage premium for over 25s of £7.20 per hour introduced last April. Full time employees earning the real Living Wage earn £45 a week more than those on the government minimum.
The real Living Wage is an hourly rate, calculated annually by the Resolution Foundation and overseen by the Living Wage Commission, based on the best available evidence on living standards in the UK.
Employers choose to pay the real Living Wage on a voluntary basis. The Living Wage Foundation, The Poverty Alliance and the Scottish Living Wage Campaign believe that work should be the surest way out of poverty.
Since being set up by local people in 1992 WHALE Arts has firmly established itself as the cultural anchor organisation for Wester Hailes. As a community-led arts charity and social enterprise, WHALE Arts’ mission is to be the creative heart of a vibrant, thriving community.
WHALE acts as a conduit between our community and creative opportunities through the direct delivery of projects, programmes and events and by connecting our community with city and national cultural partners.
WHALE Arts Board Member Susan Gibson said:
Innovative efforts to tackle poverty and inequality are at the heart of WHALE’s creative work in Wester Hailes. Becoming a Living Wage employer helps to highlight this issue on a national level and has a positive financial impact at a local level in Wester Hailes.
Peter Kelly, Director of the Poverty Alliance said,
Over two thirds of the children that are living in poverty in Scotland are living in a household where at least one adult works. This shows that work is not working as an effective route out of poverty and paying the real Living Wage is one of the key tools at our disposal to help make an impact on this. We are delighted to congratulate WHALE Arts Agency on becoming a Living Wage employer. Paying the real Living Wage makes a huge difference to people’s lives, and employers can enjoy a range of business benefits too, including increased productivity, increased staff retention and lower rates of absenteeism.