ACS (Advanced Clothing Solutions) have become the 7th Living Hours accredited employer in Scotland. They join SSE, abrdn, 1st Alliance Credit Union, Dear Green Coffee Roasters, Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home and North Lanarkshire Carers Together.
The Living Hours accreditation requires employers to both pay the real Living Wage (now £9.90/hr) and commit to provide at least four weeks’ notice for every shift, with guaranteed payment if shifts are cancelled within this notice period.
Living Hours employers also provide a guaranteed minimum of 16 hours every week (unless the worker requests otherwise), and a contract that accurately reflects hours worked.
ACS has been an accredited Living Wage employer since March 2020 when they moved a significant portion of their workforce onto the real Living Wage. The Eurocentral-based organisation pursued Living Wage accreditation as part of their commitment to the Scottish Business Pledge, of which payment of the real Living Wage is a key component. They believe that their people are at the core of their business growth, and they continue to develop fair work initiatives to enhance the lives of their employees.
Their Living Hours accreditation fits within their belief that all businesses have a duty of care as good corporate citizens to ensure their employees feel valued.
Research published last year by the Living Wage Foundation showed that 11% of workers in Scotland are in insecure work and paid below the Living Wage. This is approximately 300,000 workers. The Living Hours standard was created to ensure that people have the predictable working patterns and income, enabling them to better plan their lives.
In July 2021 Living Wage Scotland began delivering the Living Hours accreditation programme to increase the number of Scottish employers recognised for offering Living Hours alongside a real Living Wage. ACS is the fourth employer to benefit from the scheme which is delivered through the Living Wage Scotland programme at the Poverty Alliance and is funded by the Scottish Government.
ACS Chief Operating Officer, Anthony Burns said:
“Paying the Real Living Wage as part of signing the Scottish Business Pledge, whilst providing security of hours, is the minimum we could do as a good corporate citizen. At ACS, our ambition is to always do so much more for our people, and we are proud to now be known as an accredited Living Hours Employer in Scotland.”
Minister for Employment and Fair Work Richard Lochhead said:
“I want to congratulate ACS Clothing for building on their fair work policies. They are already paying the real Living Wage and it’s great to hear that they have today achieved their accreditation as a Living Hours employer.
The Scottish Government introduced the Living Hours Accreditation Scheme to recognise that, along with payment of the real Living Wage, the number and frequency of hours worked are also critical to tackling in-work poverty.”
Christine McCaig from Living Wage Scotland said:
“There are over 2500 Scottish-based employers that are committed to paying at least the real Living Wage, and it’s fantastic to see ACS take further steps to protect their workers from low pay and insecure work by becoming Living Hours accredited.
The values that led them to commit to the real Living Wage are the same values that have led to their expanded commitment to fair work at a time when workers need it most.”
Stephanie Callaghan MSP said:
“I warmly commend ACS Clothing for being awarded Living Wage accreditation. As a Living Wage employer myself, I can vouch for the benefits it brings not just to my staff, but also to me, particularly in attracting skilled people.
We are in the midst of a cost of living crisis, where some families are having to make decisions over whether to heat or eat. This is unacceptable to me and organisations such as ACS Clothing. Guaranteeing payment of the living wage delivers a happier, more productive workforce, allowing people to look beyond short-term decision-making and providing families the breathing space to pursue long-term goals.”