Already a Living Wage employer, this new accreditation means that any individuals in posts supported by SSE’s community funding programme will be paid at least the Living Wage, which is £8.25 per hour.
SSE manages 25 community funds across the UK, created as part of the community benefit commitment from its renewable energy developments and is now a major grant-funding body in the UK. Over the last two years it has awarded over £7.5m to community and charitable organisations, including grants of over £617,000 to projects which include salary costs.
The Living Wage Friendly Funder Scheme is aimed at tackling low pay in the voluntary sector and recognises Living Wage accredited employers which extend the pledge to include posts supported by their grants and donations to charities and community organisations. As part of the accreditation, SSE will also provide support for any organisation interested in working towards Living Wage Employer status.
Rachel McEwen, Director of Sustainability at SSE, said: “SSE is wholly and entirely committed to the Living Wage. We pay our staff the Living Wage and we are making sure contracted employees who work regularly on our sites earn a Living Wage. Now we are making sure that any jobs funded by our community funding programmes are also employed at a Living Wage rate. We do all of that because we think it is in all our interests that in-work poverty becomes a thing of the past.”
In achieving accreditation, SSE joins respected grant-making organisations such as the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Comic Relief. SSE is now working with its partner organisations, including community panels, trusts and nominated charities to implement the commitment.
Sarah Vero, Director at the Living Wage Foundation said “We are delighted to recognise SSE as a Living Wage Friendly Funder. SSE continues to lead the way on the Living Wage in many spheres and we are thrilled to see them extend this commitment to their grant-making. We hope to see many more organisations follow their lead in order to end low pay in the third sector.”