Alex White welcomes Leopardstown ‘living wage’ pledge

I welcome today’s announcement that Leopardstown-based SSE is to become the first large business in Ireland to become a ‘living wage’ employer. From New Year’s Day, the energy utility will guarantee to pay all its employees at least €11.50 an hour.

The announcement was an important boost to the Labour Party’s ‘living wage’ campaign, which is designed to ensure that all workers are paid enough to cover their basic living costs including housing, bills, food and travel to work.

Like this month’s restoration of the Christmas bonus and the minimum wage increase, which comes into force in January, our ‘living wage’ initiative demonstrates Labour’s determination to ensure that the recovery delivers improved living standards for all our citizens. SSE’s announcement shows that large, successful corporations also see the value of paying their staff a living wage. That’s because it’s good for business, as well as being good for working families and the local communities where they shop.

The SSE announcement was made this morning at SSE’s Ireland headquarters in Leopardstown, at an event which was attended by Tánaiste Joan Burton TD and Minister for Business and Employment Ged Nash. SSE, which employs almost 750 staff in Ireland, is also the first major energy company to sign up to the ‘living wage’.