NHS Lothian becomes accredited as a Living Wage employer

NHS Lothian has become accredited as a Living Wage employer, making a formal commitment to paying their staff no less than a real Living Wage.  

The accreditation also means that staff in any companies NHS Lothian contracts cannot be paid less than the independently calculated Living Wage. 

The new Living Wage rate of £10.90 per hour 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 currently stands at £9.50 per hour. 

NHS Lothian already pays its staff above the Living Wage, but this accreditation has formalised the health board’s commitment to ensuring fair pay for fair work. 

NHS Lothian is Scotland’s second largest Health Board providing primary, community-based and acute care. It provides healthcare services to people across Edinburgh, Midlothian, East Lothian and West Lothian and is a regional and national centre of expertise for certain specialities. 

They are one of the largest employers in these areas and employ over 28,000 people, which is a significant boost to the Making Edinburgh a Living Wage City campaign. 

The real Living Wage is the only UK wage rate calculated according to the cost 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 59,000 people in Scotland and put over £370 million extra into the pockets of low paid Scottish workers.  

Dona Milne, NHS Lothian’s Director for Public Health said:

“We are very proud to be formally recognised as a Living Wage employer. NHS Lothian is committed to ensuring all our staff feel valued and are paid fairly for their hard work to deliver and support healthcare to over 850,000 people.  

Living Wage accreditation is part of our work to reduce inequalities in Lothian, recognising the importance of people having enough money to live on and the positive impact this has on the health and wellbeing of both individuals and communities.” 

Peter Kelly, Director of The Poverty Alliance said:

“We all need an income that is enough to cover our needs and protect us from poverty, and it’s only right that employers pay a wage that reflects the cost of living.  

Too many workers in Scotland are paid less than the real Living Wage and, at a time of rising costs, are struggling to stay afloat. The real Living Wage can offer protection from those rising costs. 

Congratulations to NHS Lothian on their Living Wage commitment, and I hope more organisations follow their lead by becoming Living Wage accredited.” 

Christine McCaig, Living Wage Scotland Manager said:

“We’re delighted that NHS Lothian has become an accredited Living Wage employer. They join a growing movement of over 2900 employers in Scotland who together want to ensure workers have what they need.  

Our Living Wage employer network includes lots of smaller employers as well as larger and iconic brands like SSE, abrdn, Barrs, Mackie’s of Scotland and D.C. Thomson. We hope to see many more employers following their example.”  

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