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Real living wage increase to £8.75 in Scotland

Katherine Chapman

Workers in Scotland must earn £8.75 p/h if they are to make ends meet with dignity. Accredited Living Wage employers in Scotland have committed to giving staff a pay rise as the new Living Wage rate increases to £8.75 around the UK due to rising inflation. Contributor Katherine Chapman, Director – Living Wage Foundation Director.

The Living Wage rates are independently calculated and based on the real cost of living. The UK rate has increased by 30p from £8.45 to £8.75, which is a 3.6% rise on last year. The announcements come after new research published by KPMG yesterday showed that 404,000 employees, 18 percent, in Scotland are still paid less than the real Living Wage.

Peter Kelly, Director of the Poverty Alliance who host the Living Wage Accreditation Initiative in Scotland, said: “With inflation raising and the budgets of families across Scotland being squeezed, this increase in the real Living Wage will be welcomed by thousands of employees who will be in line for a pay increase.  This is an increase that will ensure that their pay keeps pace with the real cost of living over the next year.

“We have seen more employers across Scotland join the Living Wage movement in the last year than ever before. They know that paying the real Living Wage is critical not only for the wellbeing of their staff but for the long term success of their organisation.

“With economic uncertainty becoming a feature of our economy, the commitment that these employers have shown should be applauded. Over the coming years we will work with them and other employers to ensure that even more workers can benefit from the real Living Wage”.   

Living Wage Foundation Director, Katherine Chapman said:
“The new Living Wage rates announced today will bring relief for thousands of Scottish workers being squeezed by stagnant wages and rising inflation. It’s thanks to the leadership of employers across Scotland who are committed to paying all their staff, including cleaners and security staff, a real Living Wage.

“In-work poverty is today’s story. Recent figures show that 5.5 million people are still paid less than the real Living Wage – it’s fantastic that this year alone over a thousand more employers across the UK have chosen to go beyond the legal minimum and pay a real Living Wage, putting fairness and respect at the heart of their business.

“Great Scottish businesses know that, even during these tough times, not only is fair pay the right thing to do but paying the real Living Wage brings big benefits. Nine out of ten accredited Living Wage employers report real benefits including improved retention, reputation, recruitment and staff motivation.” Cabinet Secretary for Fair Work Keith Brown said: “I wholeheartedly welcome the rise in the Living Wage rate, which will benefit thousands of individuals, households and businesses around Scotland.

“Scotland remains the best performing of all four UK countries with the highest proportion of employees paid the Living Wage or more, this is a fantastic achievement and a testament to our work promoting the Scottish Government’s Fair Work agenda and putting equality at the heart of our labour market.

“I want to encourage more businesses and organisations from around Scotland to recognise the benefits of paying the Living Wage, and ensure that employees’ basic wage continues to meet the real cost of living.” More than 1,000 employers across the UK have signed up to pay the real Living Wage since Living Wage Week last year.

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