Aegon has informally adopted the real Living Wage with its workforce for many years but the official accreditation enables Aegon to now go beyond the commitment to its workforce and extend the positive impact to its supply chains. Now, as well as requiring in-scope suppliers of regularly contracted staff to pay the real Living Wage, Aegon is encouraging all of its UK suppliers to adopt the real Living Wage and its non-UK suppliers to identify and adopt an ethical pay standard.
The real Living Wage commitment formalises the fact that everyone working at Aegon receives a minimum hourly wage of at least £9.50 in the UK or £10.85 in London. Both rates are significantly higher than the government minimum for over 23s, which currently stands at £8.91 per hour.
In Scotland, more than 15% of all jobs pay less than the real Living Wage – around 350,000 jobs. Despite this, Aegon has committed to pay the real Living Wage and deliver a fair day’s pay for a hard day’s work.
The real Living Wage is the only UK wage rate calculated according to the costs of living. This recognition means that Aegon is choosing 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.
Mike Holliday-Williams, CEO at Aegon said: “Aegon is delighted to be recognised as a Living Wage Employer. People are at the heart of the business and make Aegon a great place to work.
“We have been committed to paying all employees the real Living Wage rates informally for many years now. But with this formal accreditation, we will now be able to work with third parties to encourage them to do so as well to ensure more people have a fair and equitable future.”
Richard Lochhead, Minister for Just Transition, Employment and Fair Work said: “It is fantastic to see Aegon UK become formally accredited as a real Living Wage employer. Ensuring staff are fairly remunerated is fundamental to Fair Work and benefits individual workers as well as business – by improving retention and productivity, and reducing recruitment costs. The Scottish Government encourages all employers regardless of size or sector to pay the real Living Wage.
“I congratulate Aegon UK in making this public commitment to Fair Work and I encourage all employers to follow their lead.”
Peter Kelly, Director of The Poverty Alliance said: “Too many workers in Scotland are in the grip of poverty and employers choosing to pay at least the real Living Wage can loosen that grip. Payment of the real Living Wage allows those in work to become more included in society, better meet their everyday needs, and feel that their value and hard work is recognised by their employer. Congratulations to Aegon on their Living Wage commitment, and I hope more organisations follow their lead by becoming Living Wage accredited.”
Lynn Anderson, Living Wage Scotland Manager said: “Aegon join a growing movement of over 2000 employers in Scotland who together want to ensure workers earn a wage that meets the cost of living.
“Having paid their own employees the real Living Wage for a long time, the formal process of accreditation meant that Aegon were able broaden their impact by extending the Living Wage commitment to regular workers employed through their supply chain. We hope Aegon’s Living Wage accreditation will inspire similar action from other large employers, to recognise the important leadership and influencing role they too could have in growing the Living Wage movement.
“Our Living Wage employer network includes lots of smaller employers as well as other iconic brands like SSE, Standard Life Aberdeen, Barrs, & D.C. Thomson.”
Since 2011 the Living Wage movement has delivered a pay rise to more than 45,000 people in Scotland and put more than £240 million extra into the pockets of low paid Scottish workers.