First Bus is the UK’s largest national bus operator to become Living Wage accredited

03 April 2024

First Bus is now an accredited real Living Wage employer. This means 1300 colleagues across the UK have benefitted with a pay rise in line with the new commitment.   These colleagues are spread across the UK business in various roles and includes workers employed through third party contractors.  

First Bus is the UK’s largest national bus operator to make this commitment, cementing its position as an employer of choice in the sector. This demonstrates the importance of its colleagues to the business; ensuring no colleague ever gets left behind.   

This latest step change is part of the ongoing business transformation at First Bus, which is putting colleagues and customers at the heart of everything it does.  

The company is headquartered in Aberdeen and, in Scotland, operates services across Aberdeen City and the Greater Glasgow area.

Their Living Wage commitment will see everyone working at First Bus receive a minimum hourly wage of £12 per hour. This rate is higher than the government minimum for over 21s, which currently stands at £11.44 per hour.

First Bus is going above and beyond the accreditation criteria to include its apprentices, by raising their wages to the Living Wage over the next eighteen months. This move recognises the value it places on a diverse and inclusive apprenticeship population.

In Scotland, 91% of all jobs pay at least the real Living Wage, this is higher than any other UK nation. Despite this, nearly 1 in 10 jobs still pay less than the real Living Wage which equates to 221,000 jobs.

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.

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.

First Bus Managing Director, Janette Bell, said:

“We are delighted to be working with the Living Wage Foundation and are thrilled to be become a fully accredited real Living Wage employer. This has an immediate positive impact for 1300 of our colleagues with a pay rise from today and that we are once again demonstrating to our people and the market that we care.   

“Engaged employees encourage customers to travel more often. So, by treating our employees well, we are also helping to achieve our mission to get people out of their cars and onto the bus.   

“We want First Bus to be a place where our people feel welcome, can be their true selves and succeed. It is vital that we do all we can to support our colleagues, and this is another important step in our transformation journey.”  

Lynn Anderson, Living Wage Scotland Manager said:

“We’re delighted that First Bus have become an accredited Living Wage employer. First Bus are a key employer in Aberdeen and Greater Glasgow and their commitment to paying a real Living Wage will ensure that workers can earn what they need to live on.

“First Bus join a growing movement of over 3500 accredited Living Wage employers in Scotland that includes well known organisations such as SSE plc, the University of Aberdeen and NHS Grampian, and we hope this announcement encourages other employers to follow their example.”


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