Edinburgh football side announce it is to register with the Living Wage Foundation
Heart of Midlothian looked to have pipped their football rivals Celtic to the title of becoming the first club in Scotland to announce it will pay all staff the living wage.
Owner Ann Budge announced on the club’s website she is in the process of registering with the Living Wage Foundation to formalise the commitment.
It’s understood around 150 members of staff will get a pay rise to £7.65 per hour.
Budge said: “Having reviewed the salary structure across all areas of the club, we propose to implement the nationally-approved living wage, across all staff, including part-time and contract workers.
Football clubs are ultimately businesses, but they are much more than this to the fans that support them
“We believe we will be the first football club in Scotland to sign up for this. We further believe it is entirely in keeping with the values we hold dear as a club.”
The announcement will heap further pressure on to the board of Celtic who this month asked shareholders to refuse a request by fans group the Celtic Trust to pay its staff the living wage.
They are due to vote on the matter at an AGM on 21 November.
The Hearts announcement has been welcomed though by the Poverty Alliance.
Co-chair Peter Kelly heaped pressure on Celtic, describing Hearts' move as showing real leadership to other football clubs and that he hoped they would follow the Edinburgh side’s lead.
He added: “They (Hearts) know that the living wage is not only the right thing for the workers they employ, but also the right thing for any employer that values their staff.
“Football clubs are ultimately businesses, but they are much more than this to the fans that support them.
“It is only right that clubs like Hearts reflect the overwhelming support that the living wage has and do the right thing by their staff.”