MAJOR Scottish businesses have signed up to a new campaign that aims to tackle low pay and insecure working hours.

Living Wage employers insurer Standard Life Aberdeen and energy company SSE have signed up to the “Living Hours” campaign.

The Living Wage Foundation drive aims to tackle widespread insecurity over hours and provide workers with real control over their lives. Its research found Scotland, the South East of England and London have the lowest rate of low-wage work.

The scheme will require organisations to pay the real Living Wage and commit to provide workers with at least four weeks’ notice of shifts, a contract that accurately reflects hours worked, and a contract with a guaranteed minimum of 16 hours a week.

Organisations that agree to these measures will be accredited as Living Hours employers alongside their Living Wage accreditation.

The announcement comes as new research commissioned by the Living Wage Foundation has revealed that one in six, or around five million workers, are in low paid, insecure forms of work, including short-term contracts, and contracts with unpredictable pay and hours

It found more than five million (5.1m) workers earn less than the real Living Wage and are in a form of insecure work, two million of which are parents.

It also found more than a fifth (22%) of workers aged 16-24 are in low paid, insecure work, and in most types of insecure work measured, young people are worst affected.

But insecurity is not just a problem for young people – one in two employed people (46%) experiencing insecurity and low pay at work are over the age of 35.

More than a fifth (21%) of the working population in Wales experiences low paid, insecure work, and 17% in the North East, compared to 15% in London and 13% in Scotland.

Those from black and minority ethnic backgrounds are disproportionately affected: 15% of white people in work are experiencing low pay and insecurity in comparison to 17% of workers from mixed/multiple ethnic groups, 17% of Asian/Asian British workers and 17% of Black/African/Caribbean/Black British workers

Katherine Chapman, director of the Living Wage Foundation, said: “The Living Wage has put almost £1 billion extra into the pockets of more than 200,000 workers, but it’s increasingly clear that pay is not the only driver of in-work poverty.

“A lack of secure, stable hours is leaving millions of families struggling to keep their heads above water.”