Scottish Company Commits to Become First British Call Centre to Pay ‘Voluntary Living Wage’

December 4, 2015

A company called Voca Telemarketing, based in North Ayrshire, has committed to become the first call centre operator in the UK to pay all its staff the voluntary living wage.

For some members of the company’s workforce the commitment will mean a pay rise worth more than £3,000 a year.

There are 66 people employed by the Irvine-based telemarketing business who are paid at a per hour rate of £6.70, which is currently the national minimum wage and the typical rate at which call centre staff in the UK are paid.

But Voca has said that it will be increasing that per hour rate to £8.25 from the first day of 2016.

“We are very pleased to be the first call centre in Britain to be offering all staff the voluntary living wage,” said Voca’s managing director Victoria Edwards.

“It is the morally and socially right course for employers to follow and together with good training will deliver staff productivity, retention and recruitment benefits,” she said.

Importantly, each of Voca’s employees are in line to get a pay rise regardless of their age, with close to 50 per cent of the company’s workforce currently aged under 25.

“We hope the leadership shown by Voca Telemarketing will encourage other call centres to review their own pay and reward packages, and consider how they too could become living wage employers,” said Sarah Vero from the Living Wage Foundation in a statement.

The Living Wage Foundation makes the case that every employee of any company in Britain should be paid at least £8.25 per hour and that anyone employed in London should be paid at least £9.40 per hour.

However, the British government is using a figure of £7.20 per hour to describe what it regards as being the national living wage and the basis of new laws that will oblige all UK employers to pay their staff aged over 25 that “living wage” from April 2016.

Meanwhile, the Living Wage Foundation is working to encourage employers to voluntarily pay at least the £8.25 or £9.40 per hour to all staff members and not only those aged over 25.

John Baird

Insolvency Adviser

Tel: 0800 063 9250

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