Aberdeen Reaches Major Milestone in Real Living Wage Journey

07 December 2023

An ambitious action plan to Make Aberdeen a Living Wage City, launched in November 2022 by the Aberdeen Living Wage Action Group, has reached a major milestone with more than 100 accredited real Living Wage employers now headquartered in the city.  

The Action Group is a collaboration of employers and stakeholders from across the public, private and third sectors, on behalf of Community Planning Aberdeen.  

Recently accredited employers in Aberdeen include award-winning brewery Fierce Beer, engineering company Imenco UK, Aberdeen Laundry Services, and construction company, Fowler McKenzie. 

The Action Group hopes this boost in activity will encourage more employers in the city to become Living Wage accredited. 

It is estimated that one in five children in Aberdeen is living in poverty, with a large proportion of those in families where at least one parent is working, highlighting the impact of in-work poverty.   

The real Living Wage is the only UK wage rate calculated according to the costs of living. Employers choose to pay the real Living Wage on a voluntary basis, recognising the value of their workers and ensuring that a hard day’s work receives a fair day’s pay.   

There are over 3,400 accredited Living Wage employers in Scotland and 100 in Aberdeen who are committed to paying a real Living Wage. The real Living Wage is the only UK wage rate calculated according to the costs of living. It is currently £12 and is significantly higher than the government minimum for over 23s.  

Since 2011 the Living Wage movement has delivered a pay rise to over 64,000 people in Scotland and put over £485 million extra into the pockets of low-paid Scottish workers.  

Andrew Alleway, Managing Director of Tidy Green Clean and Chair of Aberdeen Living Wage Action Group said:  

“To see over 100 Aberdeen businesses now accredited as real Living Wage employers a year after we launched, is absolutely brilliant. It shows how many businesses value their people and recognise the difference a real Living Wage makes to hourly paid staff and their families. Every business that commits to the Living Wage makes a massive difference to the economic progress of our city.” 

Lynn Taylor, Manager, Aberdeen Laundry Services said:  

“The Living Wage initiative aligns with Aberdeen Laundry Services’ commitment to fair wages and ethical employment practices. As part of the growing network of Living Wage employers, the company recognises the importance of uplifting individuals and promoting a thriving local economy. 

This achievement not only underscores the dedication of Aberdeen Living Wage Places Group but also highlights the collective efforts of businesses, organisations, and community members in fostering a city where fair wages are a priority. Aberdeen Laundry Services is honoured to contribute to this cause and looks forward to furthering the reach and influence of the Living Wage initiative within the city.” 

Sue Freeth, CEO at VSA said:  

“We are very proud to be an accredited real Living Wage employer. Our colleagues make VSA and without them, we wouldn’t be able to provide the best of care to the people we support. It was important for us to commit to the real Living Wage to ensure our colleagues were paid fairly for their hard work and commitment. It is fantastic that Aberdeen now has more than 100 accredited employers, and we hope that others will follow. It is so important, especially with the cost-of-living crisis, to help support colleagues to be paid a wage that they not only deserve but that will help them through this economically challenging time.” 

Christine McCaig, Living Wage Projects Coordinator, said: 

“We are delighted to celebrate the milestone of 100 Living Wage accredited employers in Aberdeen. Despite the challenges currently faced by business, employers in Aberdeen have signalled their commitment to tackling in-work poverty and demonstrating leadership and resilience.  We hope to see more employers in Aberdeen become accredited to drive the vision of Making Aberdeen a Living Wage City, and to tackle in-work poverty.” 

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