UNISON welcomes introduction of Scottish Living Wage for social care

UNISON welcomes the Scottish Government commitment to introduce the Scottish Living Wage across the social care sector in Scotland, from 1st October 2016.

This is the result of a long campaign by UNISON, and we are pleased that extra money has been provided for employers to meet this new commitment.

However, we are disappointed that not all care providers have agreed to pay the living wage, despite the fact that the Scottish Government has written to all social care funders to make clear that the living wage commitment should be delivered, with living wage backdated to 1st October if there are technical difficulties in meeting the time scales.

UNISON will be working hard to ensure that this policy commitment is enforced across Scotland.

Peter Hunter, UNISON manager said, ‘UNISON has led the talks with the Scottish Government for care workers to be paid at least £8.25 per hour. It will make a huge difference to a large, low paid, mostly women workforce.

It is crucial that we now ensure this policy is enforced across the sector. There are thousands of care providers in Scotland and UNISON is working in partnership with others to make sure they pay the living wage from 1 October

UNISON will address all non-payment problems our members face and we are encouraging all care workers to join us so we can deal with any issues.’



  1. UNISON is the biggest trade union in Scotland. We represent care workers in local government, private and voluntary sectors.
  2. The specific figure of £8.25 is a shared commitment between Scottish Government, local government and their NHS partners in social care. (the purpose of which is to fill social care vacancies, increase care sector capacity and thereby address delayed discharge from the NHS). UNISON has been in long term talks with Scottish Government to get this agreed.
  3. Scottish Government are investing £250m in the programme. They say i their programme for government, “We have invested to ensure that adult social care workers, like NHS staff, are paid at least the Living Wage from October 2016.”
  4. As with all policy changes there is an issue about awareness levels among the intended recipients. UNISON is working to ensure recipients and employers are fully aware of the change in government policy.