Aberdeen City sets out ambitions for real Living Wage

14 November 2022

Doubling the amount of accredited real Living Wage employers in the city over the next three years is the target of an ambitious project to Make Aberdeen a Living Wage City.


This Living Wage Week sees the launch of the project at the Community Planning Aberdeen Responsible Business event. An action plan has been developed by the Aberdeen Living Wage Action Group which is a collaboration of employers and stakeholders from across the public, private and third sectors, and has been led by Scottish Enterprise on behalf of Community Planning Aberdeen 


There are over 2,900 accredited Living Wage employers in Scotland, with more than 70 accredited employers in Aberdeen who are already committed to voluntarily paying staff the real Living Wage. However, thousands of workers in the city still earn less than a real Living Wage. It is hoped that today’s announcement will encourage more employers to join the movement to ensure workers earn enough to meet their needs. 


The real Living Wage is the only UK wage rate calculated according to the costs of living. It is currently £10.90 and was announced on Thursday 22 September 2022 in response to the cost-of-living crisis. This rate is significantly higher than the government minimum for over 23s which at present stands at £9.50 per hour. 


Since 2011 the Living Wage movement has delivered a pay rise to over 59,000 people in Scotland and put over £370 million extra into the pockets of low paid Scottish workers. Research from the Smith Institute found that if 25% of low earners had their pay raised to the real Living Wage, this could deliver a £3m boost to Aberdeen’s local economy through increased consumer spending. 


The Action Plan for Making Aberdeen a Living Wage City will be put for endorsement at the Community Planning Aberdeen board meeting on 30th November. 


Aberdeen City Council spokesperson on anti-poverty and inequality matters, including the real Living Wage, Councillor Christian Allard, said:  


“I am delighted to see the launch of the real Living Wage action plan in Aberdeen. This is a huge step in the right direction for the city and supports the workforce of Aberdeen having to face today’s cost of living crisis. We urge employers across all sectors to become a part of and support the movement towards making Aberdeen a real Living Wage City, which will help ensure workers are earning enough to meet their needs.” 


Martin Barry, Scottish Enterprise said: 


“Scottish Enterprise is committed to Fair Work, both as an employer and as an economic development agency.  We know that paying the real Living Wage is a critical element of fair work practices.  It’s good for both employees and businesses alike.  Employees feel valued, leading to increased employee morale and motivation, and in turn greater productivity. Employers report that it enhances their company reputation, meaning that they can attract and retain staff and make significant savings” 


Rachel Morrison-McCormick, Living Wage Project Co-ordinator said: 


“We are delighted to support the Aberdeen Living Wage Action Group in their ambition to Make Aberdeen a Living Wage City. The Living Wage Places scheme provides an opportunity for employers and stakeholders to work collaboratively towards ending in-work poverty. We hope to see many more employers joining the likes of Aberdeen Performing Arts, Burness Paull and Wood plc by becoming accredited and ensuring people earn what they need to live on.” 

Image from Aberdeen City Council

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