Trees for Life has won accreditation as a Living Wage Employer under the Scottish Living Wage Accreditation Initiative. The organisation has committed to ensuring that staff and contractors will receive at least £8.45 per hour regardless of age, which is significantly more than the current government minimum wage premium for over 25s of £7.20 per hour.
Trees for Life chose to pay the real Living Wage on a voluntary basis. It has 23 full and part-time staff based in two locations – at its head office near Forres, Moray and at its acclaimed Dundreggan Conservation Estate in Glenmoriston, Inverness-shire.
Steve Micklewright, CEO of Trees for Life said: “Low pay is a real problem in rural Scotland, coupled with higher than average living costs for things like transport. We think it’s really important to ensure that all employees have a fair rate of pay. We hope to show that it is possible to thrive and grow as an organisation on that basis.”
The charity’s commitment to fair pay has been welcomed by the Poverty Alliance, which delivers the Scottish Living Wage Accreditation Initiative in partnership with the Living Wage Foundation. The real Living Wage is an hourly rate based on the best available evidence on living standards in the UK and is reviewed annually.
Peter Kelly, Director of the Poverty Alliance said: “Congratulations to Trees for Life on demonstrating the importance of the real Living Wage by becoming a Living Wage employer. The Living Wage makes a huge difference to people’s lives and is an important tool to help address levels of in-work poverty. My hope is that more organisations follow their lead by becoming accredited – making a public commitment to their staff and the wider community that they are a fair dealing employer.”
People can support Trees for Life by becoming members and by funding dedicated trees and groves. Volunteers carry out almost all of the charity’s practical conservation work, including through Conservation Weeks in beautiful locations.