Scottish Government accredited as Living Wage employer

We are delighted to announce that the Scottish Government has today become an accredited Living Wage employer, becoming the first Government to join the scheme.

There are now almost 1,500 accredited Living Wage employers across the UK and over 200 in Scotland. These employers pay all their directly employed staff and all those who are subcontracted at least the Living Wage, which is currently £7.85 an hour across the UK and £9.15 an hour in London.

In Scotland the Living Wage Foundation works with the Scottish Living Wage Accreditation Initiative, operated by the Poverty Alliance.

Welcoming the Scottish Government to the Living Wage Foundation, Rhys Moore, Director of the Foundation, said: 

We are delighted to welcome the Scottish Government to the growing list of accredited Living Wage employers across the UK. Such a high profile announcement will no doubt drive interest, and we hope, encourage more businesses and organisations to also consider becoming Living Wage employers. The Living Wage isn't only the right thing to do it also makes good business sense. The best employers are voluntarily signing up to pay the Living Wage now. The Living Wage is a robust calculation that reflects the real cost of living, rewarding a hard day's work with a fair day's pay.

The Scottish First Minister said:

The Scottish Government is committed to fairness and supporting those on the lowest incomes, and we recognise the real difference the Living Wage can make to the people of Scotland. Research published just last week highlighted enhanced productivity, reduced absenteeism and better staff morale as just some of its potential benefits. We have been working closely with the Poverty Alliance to encourage employers across Scotland to pay the Living Wage and to seek formal accreditation for doing so. There are now over 200 Scots-based employers who proudly display the Living Wage Employer Mark. The Scottish Government has been paying all of its staff above the level of the Living Wage for some time but now we are happy to say that we are amongst the number of officially accredited employers - a step which further demonstrates our commitment to payment of the Living Wage in Scotland.  However, more needs to be done. We are committed to having 500 Scots-based Living Wage accredited employers by March 2016, a decisive long-term commitment to those on the lowest pay.

Peter Kelly, Director of the Poverty Alliance, said:

The Poverty Alliance is pleased to see the Scottish Government join hundreds of other employers who have become accredited Living Wage employers. The Living Wage is an important tool in helping lift people out of poverty and we are celebrating that the Scottish Government has chosen to lead by example. With almost two thirds of children in poverty in Scotland living in a household where someone works, it is now more important than ever that people are adequately remunerated for their labour. I hope that other organisations will follow in the Scottish Government's footsteps and sign up to the Scottish Living Wage Accreditation Initiative.