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Living Wage champions

Published: 3 Nov 2015 09:00

Minister visits the University of Aberdeen as part of Living Wage Week 2015.

The Minister for Youth and Women's Employment joined staff and students at the University of Aberdeen to see how being a Living Wage employer has benefited the campus.

The visit comes a day after it was announced that the Living Wage would increase by 40 pence per hour, improving the lives of thousands of employees at Living Wage-accredited organisations in Scotland.

Annabelle Ewing, Minister for Youth and Women's Employment, said:

"Research shows that paying the Living Wage benefits both employees and employers alike. Paying the Living Wage demonstrates a commitment by employers to their staff, and in return employers have experienced benefits including increased productivity, reduce absenteeism and improved staff morale.

"In short, paying the Living Wage isn't just the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do. Throughout this week, many people across the UK will be joining me both in celebrating Living Wage Week and commending those employers who have already committed to paying it.

"In Scotland we have a higher proportion of employees paid the Living Wage than anywhere else in the UK outwith the South East of England and London at around 81 per cent, and we are committed to doing even more. The Scottish Government are funding the Poverty Alliance to promote the take up of the Living Wage Accreditation Scheme, in every sector across Scotland, with the goal of having at least 500 accredited employers by the end of March 2016.

"Importantly those employers will also being speaking about their experience of becoming accredited and the difference it has made to them which is why I am delighted to be at the University of Aberdeen. The university become a Living Wage employer earlier this year and I am keen to hear how that has impacted on both staff and the University

The new Living Wage rate is £8.25. To date, more than 380 firms in Scotland have become accredited, with Living Wage Week 2015 expected to further raise awareness in the public, private and third sectors.

Professor Sir Ian Diamond, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, said: "I am delighted to have this opportunity to discuss with the Minister the benefits to organisations in becoming Living Wage Employers. For us at the University of Aberdeen this was a logical next step in underpinning our commitment to keeping people at the heart of our vision for our University."