Paying the real Living Wage

This is the heart of the Scottish Business Pledge. It improves productivity and retention.

In a nutshell

Paying the real Living Wage can provide hugely positive benefits for employers in terms of increased commitment and loyalty, and it helps employees to provide security and build self-worth while improving standards of living.

What's the business benefit?

Research conducted by Living Wage Foundation on accredited employers who have introduced the real Living Wage of £9.50 hour shows:

  • A 25% fall in absenteeism;
  • 80% of employers believe that the real Living Wage has enhanced the quality of the work of their staff;
  • 66% of employers reported a significant impact on recruitment and retention within their organisation;
  • 70% of employers felt that the real Living Wage had increased consumer awareness of their organisation’s commitment to be an ethical employer.

The real Living Wage is calculated annually by the Living Wage Foundation each November, it is paid to employees over 18 and is based on actual living costs.

Why is this included in the Scottish Business Pledge?

Business success is based on fairness. In-work poverty remains a real problem for many, which is why the provision of well paid, fair work is crucial in tackling inequality and lack of opportunity. Access to fulfilling, secure and well-paid jobs increases motivation, commitment and productivity.

Ensuring employees are able to earn a wage that allows them a reasonable standard of living is key to helping them provide for their families, build self-worth and create a better sense of purpose. The hourly rate and number of hours worked are key to delivering this.

Under international human rights law, everybody is entitled to fair wages that provide a decent living for themselves and their families.

Why is this good for Scotland?

Paying individuals a fair and decent wage is fundamental to developing a prosperous society.

The real Living Wage is a key element of the wider Fair Work agenda and supports the ambition for Scotland to be a world-leading Fair Work Nation by 2025.

What should I do now?

Simply check that your business is paying all of its employees aged over 18 the real Living Wage*.

Ideally, we would like you to be recognised as a Living Wage Employer, via formal accreditation from the Living Wage Foundation. This gives you the right to also use the ‘We are a Living Wage Employer’ mark and promote your business as an employer that’s committed to building a better, more sustainable society.

*The Living Wage Foundation does not require employers to pay the real Living Wage to volunteers, apprentices and interns.

What help is available if I can't make the commitment right now?

If you feel you cannot make the real Living Wage commitment at the moment, you will not be able to make your Business Pledge. However, just thinking about these issues is a positive first step.

Further support and advice are available via the Business Pledge Learning Network. This provides an opportunity to engage with businesses who have adopted the real Living Wage and who can share best practice and advice based on their own journey.