Positive support for Living Wage from Scottish public and employers

BrewDog was one of the first companies in Scotland to achieve Living Wage accreditation.
BrewDog was one of the first companies in Scotland to achieve Living Wage accreditation.

The Living Wage has won overwhelming support from Scots who regard it as both a boost to a company’s status and helping to make products and services more attractive.

According to recent figures release by The Poverty Alliance, three out of four people would think more highly of a company which became accredited for paying the real Living Wage. The survey, which included 1024 adults from all income brackets, also found that four out of 10 Scots care if products and services they buy are from a Living Wage employer.

There was also strong public support for the Living Wage from an employee perspective, 80 per cent saying that being paid a Living Wage would make them feel more valued by their employer and 71 per cent saying that being paid a Living Wage would make them feel their employer was investing in their development.

The news follows last week’s announcement that whisky producer Diageo had become 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.

The Poverty Alliance has claimed that paying a minimum wage-earner a Living Wage equates to a pay rise of £2000 a year,.

Peter Kelly, director of The Poverty Alliance, said that an increasing number of employers are seeing the benefits of paying a real Living Wage, in terms of increased retention and better staff morale.

He continued: “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 UK 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 that low pay, particularly in the hospitality sector, “doesn’t sit well” with the company’s values.

She added: “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.”