SSE Airtricity becomes first Irish corporate to be a living wage employer

8% of the gas and electricity suppliers workforce to receive wage increases from January 2016 to meet €11.50 living wage rate

David Baker
by David Baker on 10th December, 2015

SSE Airtricity has announced that it will be offering all staff a guaranteed wage of €11.50 an hour from 1 January 2016 as the firm will be a living wage employer.

It means the gas and electricity supplier will be the first large corporate business in Ireland to have the living wage.

The announcement took place at a specially hosted event at SSE’s Irish headquarters in Leopardstown, County Dublin, attended by An Tanaiste Joan Burton TD and Ged Nash TV, Minister for Business and Employment.

Assisting workers with living costs

SSE Airtricity is Ireland’s second largest energy provider and nearly 750 staff will benefit from the company’s status as a living wage employer.

The basic hourly rate should help to ensure that all staff are capable of covering their living costs, from housing and bills to food and travel.

An Tanaiste Ms Burton TV welcomed the announcement and said it is helping to create sustainable jobs where “workers earn enough money to look after themselves and their families”.

“The Living Wage Campaign does precisely that and I am very pleased that SSE is now joining the growing number of employers here who believe that everyone of its staff should share in our hard won recovery,” she added.

The move was also welcomed by Mr Nash who suggested that the voluntary living wage is gaining momentum while urging more progressive employers to sign up. 


Looking to make a difference

SSE Airtricity Managing Director Stephen Wheeler said the move highlights that the firm is “serious about making a difference” to the lives of its workers.

The move will see around 8% of SSE Airtricity’s workforce receive a pay increase from 1 January 2016, with an average rise of around €560 per annum, although individual increases will vary from €15 to almost €5,000.

The gas and electricity supplier currently meets the energy needs of more than half a million homes and businesses in Ireland, while it also the largest provider of wind power.

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