Heart of Midlothian Football Club has become the first football club in Scotland to become an officially accredited Living Wage employer.
The move will see all staff employed at the club paid the Living Wage. The Living Wage was uprated to £7.85 per hour in November, £1.35 per hour more than the National Minimum Wage.
In Scotland, there are approximately 414,000 people currently paid below the Living Wage.
The Scottish Living Wage Accreditation Initiative has been operating in Scotland since April 2014 and provides support and advice to organisations that wish to pay the living wage. More than 70 employers in Scotland are now accredited as paying the living wage.
Peter Kelly, Director of the Poverty Alliance who deliver the Accreditation Initiative, said today: “Congratulations to Heart of Midlothian on becoming Scotland’s first Living Wage accredited football club.
“We are delighted that Heart of Midlothian will pay all staff who work at the club the Living Wage, and that they have opted to have their commitment to the Living Wage recognised through the accreditation mark. This is an important step forward for the campaign to end poverty pay in Scotland.
“Almost two in three children in poverty in Scotland live in a household where someone works, and the Living Wage is a vital tool in lifting people out of in work poverty.
“Football clubs have an important role in communities across Scotland. With thousands of people turning out every week to support their local clubs, they can play an important leadership role, not only for fans but for the businesses they work with. I hope that more clubs will follow Heart of Midlothian’s example but not only giving their staff a pay rise this Christmas, but by showing real leadership on this issue on and off the pitch.”
A Heart of Midlothian spokesperson said: "Heart of Midlothian Football Club is delighted to be given accreditation to become a Living Wage Employer.
"The club feels that implementing the Living Wage is entirely in keeping with the values that we hold dear as Edinburgh's oldest football club.
"Since revealing our intention to implement the Living Wage the club has received widespread backing from both our supporters and sponsors."