Thousands to benefit from Living Wage rise

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New hourly rate of £9.30 announced to mark start of Living Wage week. 

11th November 2019 by Gavin Stuart 0 Comments

Thousands of Scots are set to benefit after the announcement of a new real Living Wage.

Workers whose employer has signed up to the initiative will see their hourly rate rise to £9.30 an hour – up from the current minimum rate of £9.

The Living Wage Foundation said this would see employees earn on average £2,000 more than those on the national minimum wage.

Over 1,600 Scottish firms and organisations are members of the scheme, including Police Scotland, Brewdog, SSE and multiple branches of household names such as Majestic, Lush and Nationwide.  

Earlier this year Dundee and Glenrothes were also celebrated as the first places in the UK to develop plans to become a Living Wage City and Living Wage Town.

The real Living Wage is independently calculated to reflect the increased cost of living and is £1.09 per hour more than the minimum wage for over-25s. According to the Living Wage Foundation, the increased rate for 2019 has largely been driven by rising costs of rented accommodation.

The foundation said around 17% of Scottish employees – 380,000 people – are still paid less than its recommended wage.

Minister for Fair Work Jamie Hepburn announced the new rate during a visit to Delight Supported Living in Kirkintilloch to mark the beginning of Living Wage week.

He said: “This rise in the real Living Wage rate will make a big difference to the lives of thousands of people. I am delighted to say that over the last year even more businesses and organisations have recognised the benefits of ensuring people’s basic pay meets the cost of living. Today there are more than 1,600 Living Wage accredited employers in Scotland, 300 more than last year.

“The Scottish Government will continue working with the Poverty Alliance to build a Living Wage Nation and encourage even more employers to adopt the real Living Wage.”

Louise Kershaw, from Delight Supported Living, said the real Living Wage had made a huge impact on her life.

“I no longer scrape by deciding which bill can I put off, so I have travel or food money in my purse,” she said.

The real Living Wage initiative is hosted in Scotland by the Poverty Alliance, whose director Peter Kelly welcomed today’s announcement.

He said: “The real Living Wage is a vital component in the fight against in-work poverty. Workers need a wage that reflects the cost of living, but too many workers across Scotland are locked into poverty.

“That’s why it’s more important than ever for leading employers to join the growing movement of businesses and organisations that are going further than the UK Government minimum and making sure their employees earn enough to cover the cost of living."