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New Living Wage Rate Announced

Posted: 2016-10-31 12:36:48

Real Living Wage rate announced at £8.45

The First Minister today welcomed the new Living Wage rate of £8.45 an hour and urged more Scottish organisations to sign up as Accredited Living Wage Employers.


The rise of 20 pence will benefit thousands of employees at Living Wage-accredited organisations in Scotland.


The Living Wage meets the real costs of living is reviewed every year using the best evidence about living standards in the UK from the Living Wage Foundation.


The First Minister today visited the Bell Group, a UK wide painting and decorating contractor headquartered in Airdrie and the latest Scottish business to become an accredited Living Wage employer. At the same time in Glasgow, 100+ representatives from Living Wage accredited employers gathered at the Strathclyde Technology and Innovation Centre to celebrate the new rate.


First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

“The new Living Wage of £8.45 will be a welcome pay rise for thousands of Scottish workers and ensures people’s basic wage continues to meet the real costs of living.


“Like the Bell Group, 630 employers in Scotland are now accredited Living Wage employers and I want to see all businesses implement the new Living Wage rates as soon as possible.


“For business, paying the Living Wage makes sense - it’s an investment in people and all the evidence shows it leads to increased productivity and reduced staff absence and turnover, while sending a strong signal to customers about fairness.


“Yet we also know around 20 per cent of Scotland’s workforce earn less than the Living Wage. With low pay one of the main drivers of in-work poverty, it’s vital that employers who can pay the real Living Wage do so. We’ll continue to work with The Living Wage Foundation and the Poverty Alliance to encourage more businesses to recognise the benefits of paying the real Living Wage.”


Megan Strachan, 21, has worked at the Bell Group for 3 years and will receive the new Living Wage. Megan said:


“The difference the real Living Wage has made is that I’ve finally been able to buy and run a car, which has helped me be more independent. Before, I had to rely on family to get me to work or walk to work in the dark winter mornings. It takes the worry away - a financial problem isn’t just about finances, you think about it all the time.”


Peter Kelly, Director of the Poverty Alliance said:

“Today’s announcement of the new, increased, Living Wage rates of £8.45 brings a welcome pay rise to thousands of workers across Scotland.


 “According to KPMG, 430,000 people in Scotland still earn less than the wage they need to get by. This is an increase on the number of people struggling since last year’s figures. That’s why it’s more important than ever for leading employers to join the growing movement of businesses and organisations that are going further than the government minimum and making sure their employees earn enough to cover the real cost of living.


“ And I want to give my thanks to Strathclyde University for providing significant sponsorship for our gathering of over 100+ accredited employers in Glasgow today.”


Katherine Chapman, Director of the Living Wage Foundation said

“ As we kick off Living Wage Week today, we are celebrating the 600+ employers in Scotland and nearly 3,000 employers across the UK who lead the way on tackling low pay by paying the real Living Wage. The sheer growth of our movement shows that the Living Wage is good for people and good for business.”


Annette Bell, co-founder of the Bell Group said:

“We are delighted to mark becoming an accredited real Living Wage employer to celebrate our company’s renowned commitment to the overall wellbeing of our employees with a visit from the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon today. Bell Group today is one of the largest dedicated painting and maintenance contractors in the UK both in terms of our directly employed workforce and geographical coverage.

“Whilst being market leader, we remain a family-owned and operated business with our foundations being built on a true family ethos. The majority of our staff were already paid well above the Living Wage however, becoming accredited meant that we could renew our commitment to ensure that all our staff have a decent quality of life. Furthermore, this accreditation allows us to  persuade other companies within our supply chain to look and follow suit, driving the Living Wage ethos throughout the industry.”

Sir Jim McDonald, Principal of Strathclyde University said

“At Strathclyde, we believe that our people are at the heart of everything we do. Our Living Wage accreditation is part of our wide-ranging People Strategy, which reflects our values as a socially progressive university.

“As we will hear from a number of employers today, by ensuring that everyone is paid at least the real Living Wage there are benefits for staff, and clear business, societal and economic benefits too. We are delighted to host today’s conference to encourage companies across the country to adopt the real living wage.”




1.       The Living Wage Week kicks off a series of activities that include a conference of over 100 Living Wage employers with speakers such as Conor D’Arcy of the Resolution Foundation and Professor Donald Hirsch of the Centre for Research and Social Policy. There will also be personal testimony from Dionne McNicol who will recount the difference the real Living Wage it has made to her.



2.       30th October to 5th November 2016 is Living Wage Week – a UK-wide celebration of the nearly 3,000 employers that have voluntarily committed to ensure employees and subcontracted staff working on their premises earn a real Living Wage. This includes nearly a third of the FTSE-100 and major household names such as IKEA, Nationwide, Oliver Bonas and the Houses of Parliament. The new real Living Wage rates will be announced simultaneously at 4 events in London, Manchester, Cardiff and Airdrie in Scotland at 9.30am on Monday 31st October.


3.       There are a number of events taking place across Scotland. From breakfast meetings hosted by Living Wage employers such as Macroberts, Young Scot, Fauldhouse Community Trust, Libertie Project  http://scottishlivingwage.org/living_wage_week/events


There will be over 40 events happening across the UK during Living Wage Week.

Transport for London are promoting the London Living Wage with 450 posters on the DLR; National Express Bus and ScotRail are putting logos on their buses and trains; local authorities are flying the real Living Wage flag and a hike is planned in Wales to plant the flag in the Brecon Valleys.



4.    The Poverty Alliance is working in partnership with the Living Wage Foundation to accredit Living Wage employers in Scotland. Go to www.scottishlivingwage.org  and www.livingwage.org.uk



5.       The London Living Wage is currently £9.75 per hour. This figure covers all boroughs in Greater London. The UK Living Wage for outside of London is currently £8.45 per hour. These figures are calculated annually by the Resolution Foundation and overseen by the Living Wage Commission, based on the best available evidence on living standards in London and the UK.


6.       The Living Wage Foundation is the institution at the heart of the independent movement of businesses, organisations and people who believe that a fair day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay. We recognise and celebrate the leadership shown by the nearly 3,000 Living Wage employers across the UK who voluntarily commit to ensure their staff earn a real Living Wage that meets the cost of living. We are an initiative of Citizens UK.


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