Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

Living Wage employers get the thumbs up from Scots

The Living Wage in Scotland has won a huge thumbs-up from Scots, who see it as not only boosting a company's status but making its products and services more attractive.

Three out of four Scots would think more highly of a company which became accredited for paying the real Living Wage, according to a Poverty Alliance survey. It also found that four out of ten people north of the border care if products and services they buy are from a Living Wage employer.

The survey found strong public support for the Living Wage from an employee perspective too, with eight out of ten (80%) Scots saying that being paid a Living Wage would make them feel more valued by their employer and seven out of ten (71%) saying that being paid a Living Wage would make them feel their employer was investing in their development.

The news comes hot on the heels of an announcement last week that Diageo, the global drinks company and leading producer of Scotch Whisky, was announced as the 900th employer in Scotland to achieve Living Wage accreditation. It also represented a significant milestone for the Living Wage Foundation as Diageo is the 33rd company in the FTSE 100 to sign up to the scheme, meaning a third of the UK's leading companies now support the Living Wage.

Paying someone on a minimum wage a Living Wage equates to a pay rise of £2000 a year, according to The Poverty Alliance, which promotes the real Living Wage in Scotland.

The poll of 1,024 adults, carried out for The Poverty Alliance by Survation, includes people of all income brackets ranging from 18 to 64 years old.

Peter Kelly, director of The Poverty Alliance, said:

"More and more employers in Scotland are seeing the benefits of paying a real Living Wage, in terms of increased retention and better staff morale. This poll shows that the public is behind the Living Wage movement in Scotland, both as consumers and employees. Survey results issued by us earlier this year showed that an increase in pay from the National Minimum Wage to the Living Wage would make workers feel more committed to their job, more productive, and more valued by their employer.

"Right now there are more employers in Scotland who are signing up to become Living Wage accredited employers than in any other region in the U.K. Accreditation is a voluntary programme and a very simple process which we urge employers of all size to consider."

One of the first employers in Scotland to achieve Living Wage accreditation was ‘punk' brewer BrewDog. Fiona Hunter, Head of People at BrewDog, said:

"Low pay, particularly in the hospitality sector, is something that doesn't sit well with us.  At BrewDog, paying a good wage makes absolute business sense. We cannot expect our employees to come to work and be amazing when they are worried about making ends meet.  Providing a good standard of living is the right thing to do, and it has the added benefit of helping our employees be as brilliant as possible, which drives the growth of the business.

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