Johnstons of Elgin becomes 1500th Living Wage employer

Joe 1500

The luxury woollens retailer is Scotland’s second-oldest family business.

10th July 2019 by Gavin Stuart 0 Comments

A luxury fashion retailer has become Scotland’s 1500th Living Wage employer.

Johnstons of Elgin employs more than 1000 staff across two mills and five shops, including their newly-opened flagship store on Edinburgh’s Multrees Walk.

More than 300 of these workers will benefit after the company committed to paying the real Living Wage of £9 an hour.

Trainee rates will remain in place – but only for the Living Wage Foundation’s recommended maximum of six months.

Jack Evans, Living Wage Scotland manager, welcomed the move.

He said: “I am delighted to be celebrating such an important milestone with Johnstons of Elgin. As one of Scotland’s oldest family businesses it is fantastic to see Johnstons make this ongoing commitment to their staff, recognising that a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay.

“The real Living Wage makes a real and immediate difference to the lives of workers, and at the same time has proven business benefits. This accreditation and the 1499 before it shows that employers want to go beyond the minimum for their staff and their business. I hope that more employers will follow Johnstons’ lead and become accredited.” 

Scotland’s second-oldest family business, Johnstons of Elgin operates the last remaining vertical mills in the UK that process raw cashmere and fine woollen fibres.

In addition to their Scottish outlets, the company owns shops in London and Massachusetts.

Simon Cotton, the firm’s chief executive said: “Johnstons of Elgin always have employees at the forefront of our strategy, and we recognise the significant part they play in the success of the company.

“Our ability to move to become a Living Wage Employer is a direct result of the hard work undertaken by every one of our 1048 employees to put Johnstons of Elgin on a sound financial footing. Making this change is something I am delighted to be able to do.”

Business minister Jamie Hepburn said: “The Scottish Government has long championed Fair Work and paying the real Living Wage. It ensures that workers are treated fairly and get more money in their pockets.

“It benefits our economy too, showing that what is good for workers is also good for business and for the economy.”