Scottish firm becomes first UK call centre to pay living wage to all staff

call centre

A Scottish telemarketing company claims it will be Britain’s first call centre to give all employees the voluntary living wage, a move that will result in some staff getting a £3,100 a year pay rise.

The Guardian reports that Voca Telemarketing, based in Irvine, North Ayrshire, pays its 66 staff the minimum wage of £6.70 an hour, the basic rate for call centre workers across the industry. But after its accreditation from the Poverty Alliance in Scotland on behalf of the Living Wage Foundation, the company said all employees, regardless of age, would see their hourly pay rise to £8.25 from 1 January.

Voca, which employs staff to make sales calls on behalf of a variety of clients, including a big energy firm, said the move would help it recruit for 45 posts in January and February.

Almost half of the workforce at the call centre are between 18 and 24. The company’s move is a considerably better deal than the government’s national living wage premium of £7.20 per hour for over-25s, taking effect in April.

“We are very pleased to be the first call centre in Britain to be offering all staff the voluntary living wage,” said Victoria Edwards, Voca’s managing director. “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. We hope our latest pay initiative sets the trend for the call centre industry as a whole where a large proportion of workers are under 25.”

A typical employee working 166.5 hours a month will see their gross monthly pay rise from £1,115 to £1,373 next month.

Sarah Vero, the director of the Living Wage Foundation, said: “The best employers are voluntarily signing up to pay the living wage. 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.”