Poppy factory becomes Living Wage employer

All factory staff will soon benefit from the Living Wage.
All factory staff will soon benefit from the Living Wage.

Lady Haig’s Poppy Factory in Edinburgh has been named an accredited Living Wage employer.

The factory’s team of 41 armed forces veterans make over five million poppies and 12,000 wreaths every year by hand and will now receive the real living wage of a minimum of £8.45 an hour.

The real living wage is an hourly rate that is updated every year according to the real cost of living at the time.

The official government minimum wage for over 25s is currently set at £7.50 an hour, but soon all poppy factory staff, from direct employees to third-party contractors, will benefit from the real living wage.

Charlie Pelling, factory manager, said: “We are delighted to be formally recognised as an accredited Living Wage Employer. This demonstrates our continuing commitment to providing dignity through work to disabled ex-servicemen and servicewomen who might otherwise struggle to find meaningful employment.”

Peter Kelly, director of the Poverty Alliance, added: “The real Living Wage allows those in work to become more included in society, better provide for their families, and feel that their value and hard work is recognised by their employer.

“We are delighted to congratulate Lady Haig’s Poppy Factory on becoming a Living Wage employer and I hope more organisations follow their lead by becoming accredited.”

The real Living Wage initiative has been a huge success in Scotland with over 25,000 people having benefited from a pay rise and so far 820 Scotland-based employers have become accredited.

The accreditation programme in Scotland was launched in April 2014 by the Poverty Alliance and the Living Wage Foundation, funded by the Scottish Government.