Should you be paying the real Living Wage?

This week is Living Wage Week 2018 and as an accredited Living Wage employer, Grigor & Young LLP are proud to support and celebrate this initiative along with other accredited businesses. We are one of 1305 employers paying the Living Wage in Scotland – and we are one of only 18 in the legal sector.

The Living Wage campaign is an independent movement of businesses, organisations and people who believe a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay.

It is a voluntary agreement by an employer to pay above the statutory minimum wage as it is independently calculated based on living costs of employees and their families. It applies to all workers over 18 – in recognition that young people have the same living costs as everyone else.

The difference with the “National Living Wage”

The government introduced a “National Living Wage” in April 2016. This is essentially a higher National Minimum Wage for over 25’s and was inspired by the Living Wage campaign. However, it is different to the Living Wage.

The government’s ‘National Living Wage’ is not calculated according to what employees and their families need to live. It is based on a target to reach 60% of median earnings by 2020 – currently less than £9 per hour.

The real Living Wage rates are higher because they are independently calculated based on what people need to get by. That’s why all employers that can afford to do so are encouraged to ensure their employees earn a wage that meets the costs of living, not just the government minimum.

The real Living Wage is the only UK wage rate that is voluntarily paid by over 4,400 UK businesses who believe their staff deserve a fair day’s pay for a hard day’s work.

Statistics

If you’re still not sure what the benefits of being a Living Wage employer are, see the below statistics from the Living Wage Foundation –

  • 93% of university graduates want to work for a Living Wage Employer
  • 93% of Living Wage Employers have benefited since accrediting
  • 90% of consumers agreed that pay should reflect living costs
  • 86% of Living Wage Employers reported an increase in staff motivation since accrediting

For more information about becoming a living wage employer, please visit livingwage.org.uk

Note: The original version of this article was published on the Moray Employment Law website on 07 November 2018.