Living Wage Week

the real Living Wage movement

Thanks to everyone who joined us and contributed to an amazing week of Living Wage celebrations in 2021. Find out about all the great things that happened last year below. We will soon have news about Living Wage Week 2022 so stay tuned!

Living Wage Welcome

We were delighted to announce a number of new employers during Living Wage Week. The number of accredited Living Wage employers in Scotland is now over 2400 and the movement continues to grow as employers realise that paying a real Living Wage is good for their staff, their business and their wider community.

NHS Highland,  Begg Shoes and MacGregor Industrial Supplies joined over 200 employers in the Highlands region, while the Living Wage Places movement in Dundee was bolstered by Dundee Contemporary Arts (DCA). In Aberdeen, we welcomed Wood, one of the world’s leading consulting and engineering companies.

Children's Hospices across Scotland (CHAS) joined other charities such as ENABLE Scotland and the Scottish SPCA while our childcare employers were joined by Scottish Borders based Tweedbank Early Learners. In Edinburgh, Camera Obscura joined other tourist attractions such as Mercat Tours and the Scotch Whisky Experience.

There are now over 120 accredited Living Wage Employers in the Hospitality sector in Scotland. During Living Wage Week, Innis & Gunn announced their accreditation and committed to paying all staff the real Living Wage as a minimum, including all staff at their four Brewery Taproom bars across Scotland – Edinburgh, Leith, Glasgow and Dundee.

Dundee Arts Charity
18/11/21 Wood sign up to Living wage-
Jonathan Wood – Reward Lead, ,Claire Yule – Reward & Mobility & P&O Group Functions President, Michael Gray – Reward Lead,  Councillor Jenny Laing, leader of Aberdeen City Council
Tweedbank Early Learners 2

Events & Activities

We'd like to say a huge thank you to everyone who hosted visits and events and took part on social media - we couldn't do it without your amazing support!

Across Scotland, a total of 13 Living Wage accredited employers hosted Government Ministers and MSPs. In Stonehaven, The Bay Fish & Chips celebrated with Mairi Gougeon, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Islands, while Michael Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport enjoyed a tour of the facilities at SSE in Cumbernauld.

The Bay Fish & Chips with Mairi Gougeon

On Monday, we joined our partners at the Living Wage Foundation at their UK wide event, The real Living Wage: What is it and why does it matter. We heard from a diverse range of speakers including Scottish employers and employees from Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home, Manorview Hotel Group and SSE.

Tuesday was an exciting day for the City of Edinburgh with the announcement of Making Edinburgh a Living Wage City at an Edinburgh Business School Event. Please watch this great video from City of Edinburgh Council, featuring employers and employees explaining the benefits to the city and it's people.

North Lanarkshire & South Lanarkshire Councils jointly hosted an online event to celebrate the progress made in Lanarkshire, while CECA Scotland hosted "Building a Fairer Society" with contributions from experts in the construction sector.

Wednesday saw the early birds in the Scottish Borders come together at their annual Borders Business Breakfast where they celebrated their ambitious plans for Making Eildon a Living Wage Place.

On Wednesday afternoon we shone the spotlight on hospitality and were delighted to share a Happy Living Wage Week video from employees in our hospitality network here 

On Wednesday afternoon we shone the spotlight on hospitality and were delighted to share a Happy Living Wage Week video made by employees from our Hospitality Steering Group.


At Thursday morning's EAWOP event we heard about the latest living wages research. EAWOP have also produced a great animation that shows why living wages matter to individuals, their families, their employers and wider society.

On Thursday afternoon we heard about the experiences of established Living Wage action groups from across the UK at the Living Wage Places event hosted by the Living Wage Foundation.

Hosted by ACS Clothing, Living Wage, Sustainability, and the Fashion Industry, looked at the importance of paying workers in the fashion industry the real Living Wage and we were joined by Molke, Prickly Thistle Scotland, and Sustainable Fashion Scotland.

With Friday morning came the announcement that Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home and Dear Green Coffee Roasters in Glasgow had become Living Hours employers. The Living Hours programme builds upon the existing Living Wage accreditation and employers who join with the scheme are committing to:

  • Provide at least 4 weeks’ notice for every shift
  • Guaranteed payment if shifts are cancelled within this notice period
  • Provide a guaranteed minimum of 16 working hours every week (unless the worker requests otherwise)
  • Provide a contract that accurately reflects hours worked

Rising levels of insecure work mean that more people are struggling to meet their everyday needs. It is more important now than ever, to look at way of ensuring workers are offered security of hours, alongside payment of the real Living Wage.

If you would like to take the next step and find out more about Living Hours accreditation, please download our Living Hours Guide and contact Christine McCaig to discuss.

Following this announcement we attended the UK wide Living Hours event hosted by our partners at the Living Wage Foundation where we heard from workers on the difference Living Hours has made to them and their families & what challenges employers faced & overcame when tackling insecure work.

Living Wage Scotland Awards 2021

Finally, on Friday afternoon, we were delighted, excited and very nervous to host our first ever online Living Wage Scotland Awards ceremony! It was an honour to celebrate so many accredited employers who have gone above and beyond.

Our host for the event was the wonderful writer, comedian, broadcaster and RMS Titanic expert Susan Morrison and our keynote speaker was Dr Katherine Trebeck, writer, researcher and Senior Strategic Advisor for the Wellbeing Economy Alliance. You can watch Katherine's video here.

We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who made it special and to the following employers who generously contributed to a virtual goody bag: Mercat Tours, Mademoiselle Macaron, Paper Tiger, Cafe Thyme and Boozy Events.

Find out who our winners were here