Wages boost for the lowest-paid council workers
More than 650 workers, such as cleaners, laundry assistants and cooks, are set to see wages rise following a decision in principle by Midlothian Council to adopt what is known as the "living wage".
The "living wage" has been set across Scotland as £7.20 an hour, with the current minimum wage being £6.08 an hour.
The decision, made at this week's council meeting, means council officials will now go ahead and assess the impact of increasing wages for the staff involved to at least £7.20 an hour, with other options including £7.29 an hour.
A final decision on the specific new hourly rate, and how to implement it, will be made at a council meeting later in the year.
Cllr Bob Constable, leader, Midlothian Council, said: "This is an important day for our staff, who work hard in delivering services for our residents. Firstly, their endeavours will be rewarded with a living wage, rather than the minimum wage, and secondly, as many of the people who do these jobs are often women working part-time due to childcare commitments, we're supporting families and helping to close the unfair gender pay gap between women and men."
The council has 677 posts where the employee is paid less than £7.20 an hour. Of these posts, 585 are held by women.
The costs of introducing a living wage of £7.20 an hour have been estimated at £53,000 a year.
The council employs around 4300 people.
Across Scotland, 22 councils have introduced or are committed to introducing the Living Wage so far, with Midlothian now becoming the 23rd to have made this decision.