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Living Wage for 2016

Published: 30 Dec 2015 00:01

New Year’s resolution for businesses and shoppers.

Scottish employers are being asked to consider paying the Living Wage as their New Year's resolution for 2016.

Over 400 organisations in Scotland now recognise the benefits of the Living Wage – including improved morale, higher productivity and lower absence rates – and more employers are being asked to step up and make a difference to the lives of working Scots.

Scottish consumers are also being asked to consider fair work practices in 2016, including shopping at retailers who pay the Living Wage.

Cabinet Secretary for Fair Work, Skills and Training Roseanna Cunningham has suggested that at least one purchase a month from a Living Wage employer could be a New Year's resolution for shoppers. She said:

"I am continually highlighting the benefits of the Living Wage to employers the length and breadth of Scotland and in a wide variety of sectors.

"Scotland now has well in excess of 400 Living Wage-accredited employers that recognise the benefits to their business of paying the Living Wage and the real difference it can make to people working in Scotland.

"The success of the autumn Living Wage Expo, Living Wage Week 2015 and the phenomenal growth in the number of accredited employers tells me that this message is gradually getting through. However, for those not yet on board, I would simply ask them to consider paying their staff at least £8.25 an hour to be their New Year's resolution for 2016.

"And in the same way that we have started to think about buying more local produce and the carbon footprint and ethical approach of who we buy from, it's time for shoppers to consider how retailers treat their staff.

"I fully acknowledge that the idea of 'buying Living Wage' is easier said than done. Only a limited number of retailers have been accredited so far, but as we continue to push for at least 500 Scots-based Living Wage employers by March, this should become simpler with the passing of time.

"My ask of shoppers is relatively simple – to consider a New Year's resolution of their own to make at least one purchase a month from a Living Wage employer. I think this is achievable, it's something I'll be doing myself and it will send a message to employers that this is an increasingly important issue for consumers."

Notes to editors

The Living Wage Foundation has produced a guide for shoppers interested in the Living Wage which is available here.