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Tánaiste and Minister Nash welcome announcement that SSE is to become a Living Wage employer

The Tánaiste Joan Burton TD and the Minister for Business and Employment Ged Nash TD joined SSE at its headquarters in Dublin today as it announced it is to become a Living Wage employer. This move guarantees that all of its employees will earn a Living Wage of at least €11.50 per hour from the 1st of January 2016.

SSE employs 750 staff across its businesses in Ireland. Of these, 61 staff members or 8% will receive a pay increase on the 1st of January as a result of this decision.

The Living Wage is an independently assessed and measured rate of income considered necessary to meet basic needs, such as housing, food, clothing, transport and healthcare.  The Living Wage Technical Group in Ireland has set the rate at €11.50 per hour.

SSE is the first corporate in Ireland to voluntarily adopt the Living Wage, as well as the first energy company to do so.

Welcoming the announcement, An Tánaiste Joan Burton TD said: “As we secure our economic recovery, we want to be sure that the jobs we have and the jobs we are helping to create are decent, sustainable jobs where workers earn enough money to look after themselves and their families. The Living Wage Campaign does precisely that and I am very pleased that SSE is now joining the growing number of employers here who believe that everyone of its staff should share in our hard won recovery.”

Minister for Business and Employment Ged Nash TD said: “SSE has been a huge supporter of our efforts to introduce a Living Wage Campaign here in Ireland. The company took part in the Forum on the Living Wage I held in Dublin Castle in September and I am delighted that it is showing its commitment to paying all of its staff a decent wage today. The voluntary Living Wage campaign is gaining momentum and I would encourage other progressive employers to follow the lead SSE has demonstrated.”

SSE Airtricity Managing Director Stephen Wheeler said: “SSE is proud to become the first large corporate in Ireland to pay its employees the Living Wage.

“Today’s announcement demonstrates that we value the people who work for SSE very highly and that we’re willing to pay our people at a level which shows we mean it. It also shows that SSE is a company which is serious about making a difference. We believe it is a matter of basic fairness that people should be paid a wage which is enough to cover their living expenses.”

In September, Minister Nash hosted the first ever Living Wage Forum in Dublin Castle, bringing together business, trade unions, academics and civil society to discuss how to progress the campaign in Ireland. SSE played a leading role in this Forum by outlining the company’s experience of helping to introduce a voluntary Living Wage campaign in the UK.  

ENDS

For more information contact: Deirdre Grant 086 0484 279 or press.office@djei.ie 01 631 2200

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