FERRY operator Caledonian MacBrayne has been honoured for giving staff a fair pay.

The firm has been named Scottish Living Wage Champion for 2016.

In August 2015, CalMac became the UK’s first ferry company and also the first major transport operator in Scotland to be accredited by the Living Wage Foundation, an independent organisation which calculates what employees and their families need to live.

The accolade was earned by the firm’s parent company David MacBrayne Limited and extends to all areas of the business, including Argyll Ferries – some 1,500 staff.

CalMac remains the only UK ferry operator with Living Wage accreditation.

The firm’s managing director Martin Dorchester was presented with the latest accolade at an event in Glasgow by director of The Poverty Alliance, Peter Kelly.

Mr Dorchester said: “We have led the way in our own industry and we hope that others will choose to follow.

“For us it was quite simply the right thing to do.

“It is absolutely appropriate that staff who work hard for the company and show immense loyalty should be afforded the dignity of living well.

“Our support for the real Living Wage also underlines our commitment, in a broader sense, to some of the UK’s most economically fragile areas and communities, with the offer of good and well-rewarded careers.”

Mr Kelly, pictured with CalMac’s director of stakeholders and communities, Brian Fulton, and director of human resources, Christine Roberts, praised the Gourock-based transport firm.

He said: “They beat a tough field and the judges were impressed with the range of activities the company undertook over the year.”

The Living Wage is currently set at £8.45 per hour for anyone over 18 and is £1.25 more than the UK Government’s statutory National Living Wage.