Living Wage LogoScottish Living Wage Campaign

We believe that a job should help you out of poverty, not keep you there.

The National Minimum Wage is not enough for individuals in Scotland to access the essentials of everyday life. £7.83 per hour (if you are over 25) will just never be enough to cover the day to day basics, nevermind to save some money or plan for emergencies.

Hundreds of thousands of workers are being paid wages that basically equate to poverty pay. This is simply not right.

We want to support individuals and communities to campaign for the expansion of the Living Wage, which is currently £8.75 per hour (as of November 2017). It is one of the most important tools we have in fighting in work poverty in Scotland.

If you would like to find out more about our work then please visit our dedicated website at:




Poverty Alliance responds to call for evidence on Transport Bill

Poverty Alliance responds to call for evidence on Transport Bill

The Poverty Alliance has submitted evidence to the Scottish Parliament's Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee, after it launched a call for evidence on the new Transport Bill.

The Bill, which provides greater powers for local authorities to become involved in the delivery of bus services, was introduced to the Scottish Parliament in June and is currently at Stage 1 of the legislative process. More details on the Bill can be read here.

The response, which focused on the affordability and availability of transport - particularly buses - for people on low incomes, can be read here.

Paying a real Living Wage could boost Glasgow City Region’s economy by millions

Paying a real Living Wage could boost Glasgow City Region’s economy by millions

Paying A Real Living Wage Could Boost Glasgow City Region’s Economy by Millions

  • A new report finds that if just a quarter of Glasgow’s lowest paid workers were paid the real Living Wage, the local economy could benefit from a £49m economic boost. 
  • 150,000 people working in the Glasgow City Region are paid below the real Living Wage  
  • The real Living Wage is calculated according to what people need to make ends meet. The rate is currently £8.75 outside London, compared to the UK minimum wage of £7.83. 

In a new report commissioned by the Living Wage Foundation, The Local Living Wage Dividend, the Smith Institute found that if a quarter of all low paid workers in the Glasgow City Region were given a pay rise to the real Living Wage, currently £8.75, 37,500 people would see an average annual pay rise of £1,180, or an extra £23 a week.  

This increase in wages would also provide: 

  • A £27 million boost to the local economy  
  • A £16 million tax and benefit dividend to HM Treasury 
  • A £49m economic boost to the city region’s economy if half of the £13 million boost to the Treasury was returned to Glasgow, considering wider economic benefits such as increased local spending by low paid workers.  

There are currently 150,000 earning below the real Living Wage, a total of 19% of all workers in the Glasgow City Region. 

About 270 Glasgow-based employers are accredited as Living Wage employers, including the University of Glasgow, Monorail Music, the BIG Partnership, Digby Brown LLP and nightclub Firewater.

Peter Kelly, Director of the Poverty Alliance who host Living Wage Scotland said:

“This report makes clear the tangible benefits to the economy when more employers commit to paying all of their workers the real Living Wage of £8.75.

“Since Living Wage Scotland launched in 2014, we have been working closely with employers of all sizes from a range of sectors across Scotland to understand the business benefits that come from paying the real Living Wage, and the difference that this can make to workers and their families. This new report is evidence of what we already suspected- that paying the real Living Wage is not only good for the individual and good for business, but also for the wider economy.

“With more than one third of the Scottish workers paid less than the real Living Wage living in the Glasgow City Region, there is much more that needs to be done by local authorities and employers. Getting more workers paid the real Living Wage will not only benefit them and their families, but will make for a healthier local economy which will benefit us all. The evidence is here in this report, now it’s time for action.”

Minister for Business Fair Work and Skills, Jamie Hepburn said:

“The Scottish Government has long championed Fair Work and paying the real Living Wage is part of that: it ensures not only that workers are treated more fairly and they get more money in their pockets - it benefits our economy too. We firmly believe that all workers should get a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work. We are continuing to support the Poverty Alliance to deliver Living Wage Scotland and are providing them with  £340,000 in 2018-19 to uplift a further 7,500 workers across Scotland to at least the Living Wage rate, giving particular attention to low paid sectors. This report confirms that fair work practices are good for workers, good for business and for the economy.”

The report highlights the role that leading local public and private sector employers such as universities, hospitals, football clubs and city airports can play in providing leadership on the Living Wage. It calls on metro mayors and local authorities to work with these key ‘anchor institutions’ to drive Living Wage take up in their towns, cities and regions. 

The report can be read here.


Social Security Committee: Social security and in-work poverty


The Scottish Parliament's Social Security Committee launched an inquiry into social security and in-work poverty, with a particular focus on Universal Credit.

You can read the Poverty Alliance's submission here.


SNP conference fringe event to showcase ‘Living Wage Nation’ efforts

SNP conference fringe event to showcase ‘Living Wage Nation’ efforts

SNP conference fringe event to showcase ‘Living Wage Nation’ efforts

A fringe event being held at SNP Spring Conference on Saturday 9th June will bring together campaigners with local authority leaders, the private sector and Keith Brown MSP (Cabinet Secretary for the Economy, Jobs and Fair Work) to map out how Scotland can build on successful recent efforts to increase the number of people receiving the real Living Wage.

The Scottish Government committed, in November 2017, to increasing the number of people receiving the Living Wage by 25,000 over the next 3 years, and to creating a ‘Living Wage Nation’. This commitment built on the progress made in Scotland in recent years, with an increase in accredited Living Wage employers from 20 in 2014 to the current figure of 1,200. Yet significant challenges lie ahead, and there remains 430,000 employees in Scotland earning less than the Living Wage – almost 20% of all employees aged 18 and over.

The event, hosted by the Poverty Alliance, will highlight the progress made and also reflect on the additional steps required to build a fair economy with the real Living Wage at its heart. With Keith Brown MSP (Cabinet Secretary for the Economy, Jobs and Fair Work) as one of the speakers, the event should also provide an insight into the future plans for the Scottish Government’s fair work agenda.

Peter Kelly, Director of the Poverty Alliance, said:

“We all share the vision of an economy that works for everyone, and that means taking decisions that make real our society’s priorities and values. Ensuring that everyone receives at least the real Living Wage is one of the most important steps we can take to realising that vision.

Since we launched Living Wage Scotland, we have seen employers from all sectors adopt the Living Wage and do their bit to help make the economy fairer. But despite the progress that has been made, we know there is still much to be done if we are to create a Living Wage Nation. This event provides the opportunity to hear from local authorities, the private sector, Scottish Government and others about how we transform commitment into reality and ensure that decent work is available for all.”



Notes to editors:

The event, ‘Building a Living Wage Nation,’ is being held 12.30pm – 1.30pm on Saturday 9th June in Room 2, First Floor, Block A, Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre. Speakers will include:

  • Peter Kelly (Director, Poverty Alliance) - Chair
  • Keith Brown MSP (Cabinet Secretary for the Economy, Job and Fair Work)
  • Rachel McEwen (Director of Sustainability, SSE)
  • Julie McGahan (Living Wage Programme Manager, Poverty Alliance)
  • Cllr John Alexander (Leader, Dundee City Council)


For more information, please contact Neil Cowan, Policy and Parliamentary Officer, on 0141 353 0440 or email

400th Living Wage Employer in Scotland

400th Living Wage Employer in Scotland

Embargoed until 00:01hrs 19 November 2015

Organisations across Scotland say “paying the Living Wage is good for business!”

  • Scotland’s 400th accredited Living Wage Employer announced
  • Emerging evidence of business impact of the Living Wage in Scotland
  • Scottish employers say business benefits of Living Wage include improved staff retention, recruitment, productivity, and reduced staff absenteeism
Eighteen months into the Scottish Living Wage Accreditation Initiative, employers across Scotland are reporting the business benefits of paying the Living Wage, including dramatic improvements in staff retention and absence rates, and increased productivity.  
One organisation reported gaining almost 70 days of productivity and a 100 per cent increase in staff retention.  Cumbernauld-based firm, CMS Window Systems became an accredited Living Wage Employer in March 2015, after implementing the Living Wage in January of the same year; 96 of their 209 staff received a pay increase as a result.
Following a successful Living Wage Week, it was also announced that a new milestone had been reached for the Living Wage movement in Scotland. The Edinburgh International Science Festival has been accredited as the 400th employer in Scotland
Commenting on the 400th accredited employer, Roseanna Cunningham MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Fair Work, Skills and Training, said:
“This is another significant moment in our efforts to have 500 Living Wage-accredited employers in Scotland by March. Edinburgh International Science Festival’s confirmation as the 400th organisation to sign up means that our goal is moving ever closer. Further endorsements from employers build on research that shows higher productivity, reduced absenteeism and improved workplace morale are all key benefits of paying the Living Wage. I’d urge even more organisations to look into accreditation.”
Dr Simon Gage, Director of the Edinburgh International Science Festival said:
“We’re delighted to learn we have been accredited as a Living Wage employer. As an international charitable organisation employing up to a hundred temporary staff each year we are keen to recognise the value of their ambassadorial role. For many of our young workforce these roles are their first steps into promising careers in festivals, events and science communication. In preparation for Festival 2016, from 26 March – 10 April, we will expand our team to enable us to deliver a world class science festival. Being accredited as a Living Wage employer is an important recognition of our role in recognising and providing opportunities for talent.” 
Anna West, HR and Training Manager at CMS Window Systems said:
“Since implementing the Living wage, we have seen a 40% reduction in days lost due to sickness. In real terms this means we gained 68 more days of production compared to the same period last year. Also we had no leavers, a 100 % improvement!  Although we cannot prove these statistics are wholly due to adopting the Living Wage, we feel strongly that it is a major factor.”
Utopia computers have also reported 100 per cent staff retention, and have experienced a 32 per cent increase in sales which they attribute to increased staff productivity. 
Craig Hume, Director of Utopia Computers said:
"Taking out the fact that I simply feel the Living Wage is the right thing to do, I also believe that it does provide justifiable business benefits. Utopia has seen an increase in online sales of 32% comparing 2014 to 2015, which is great news and largely down to the hard work my team are putting in. In light of this, my team has also grown by two and we continue to have 100% staff retention. Importantly, the culture at Utopia has never been better, with the whole team feeling very proud to be part of such an important movement." 
Other employers, such as Studio One and Paper Tiger have pointed to improvements in recruitment. 
Daniel Johnson, Director, Studio One and Paper Tiger, said:
“We became an accredited Living Wage employer this year because it was the right thing to do.  But it has brought with it real benefits to our business.  Recruitment is always a challenge but we are already experiencing a real pick up in both volume and quality of applicants for Christmas jobs.  This has reduced both the need for advertising and time spent interviewing.”
Peter Kelly, Director of the Poverty Alliance and Chair of the Scottish Living Wage Campaign, said:
“With the number of Scottish accredited Living Wage Employers now topping 400- an increase of over 300 since this time last year- we are delighted that businesses are starting to report the benefits of paying all staff at least the Living Wage. 
“We believe that the Living Wage is not only an effective tool in tackling in-work poverty, but is also good for business.
“We hope that more employers will follow in the footsteps of the 400 accredited employers in Scotland in the coming months so that they too can enjoy the benefits”. 

They Say Imitation Is The Greatest Form of Flattery...

Read our blog on the UK Government's budget and the "National Living Wage" here.

250th Accredited Employer Announced!

Scotland is well on track to having 500 Living Wage-accredited Employers by March 2016 with a further milestone reached today.

Riverside Cottage Nursery in Bathgate has been confirmed as the 250th accredited employer. This news comes on the same day that Dumfries and Galloway Council are confirmed as the second accredited local authority in Scotland.

Luke Addison, nursery manager said: “We are thrilled to be recognised as a nursery which has fairness and equity for both children and staff deeply embedded in our ethos. We believe that in our changing, growing country, everyone and particularly businesses must take their responsibilities to society seriously. A progressive approach is important to us; we are one of few outdoor nurseries in Scotland and extremely proud to be a Living Wage employer.”

Carol Ann, nursery practitioner added: “It’s wonderful that the nursery is now in a position to pay the living wage. It makes a real difference at the end of the month for my family and reflects that I’m genuinely valued for my work. If this is possible in the childcare sector, there really is no excuse for companies like Amazon to continue paying the minimum wage.”

Dumfries and Galloway Council Leader, Ronnie Nicholson, said:

“Last week, our Council approved a new anti-poverty strategy for Dumfries and Galloway. The strategy sets out what we will do to improve the lives of people in our region experiencing poverty, in all its forms. The strategy aims to tackle this through creating actions that will address the causes of poverty.

“Our Council considers the Living Wage as the single most important contribution to tackling poverty across the region. Dumfries and Galloway is the lowest paid region in Scotland. I am proud that this council is playing its part in tackling that problem by delivering a Living Wage for our staff. But I want to see that rolled out to as many workers across our region through our partners and contractors. Therefore, we will be promoting Living Wage accreditation to all organisations in our region across the public, third and private sectors.”


Peter Kelly, Director of the Poverty Alliance said:

“Congratulations to both Dumfries and Galloway Council and to Riverside Cottage Nursery on becoming accredited Living Wage employers. “Local authorities play a vital role by setting an example for employers in their area.

“By signing up to the Accreditation Initiative, Dumfries and Galloway Council have ensured that all of their of employees will always get paid at least the Living Wage. Riverside Cottage Nursery’s accreditation as Scotland’s 250th Living Wage employer is an important milestone for the Scottish Living Wage Accreditation Initiative.

“We know that childcare is an area where many women are trapped in low pay but Riverside Cottage Nursery have shown that it is possible for childcare providers to pay the Living Wage and we hope that others will follow suit. It is great to see more and more organisations – of all shapes and sizes – signing up to accreditation and recognising the role of employers in tackling in work poverty.

“We are confident of meeting our target of 500 accredited living wage employers in Scotland by March, and look forward to working with more employers over the coming months.”

Scottish Living Wage Campaign Responds to Public Procurement Consultation

Scottish Living Wage Campaign Responds to Public Procurement Consultation

Public procurement: A consultation on changes to the public procurement rules in Scotland.

You can read our full response here.

Success for Glasgow Uni Oxfam Group Living Wage Campaign!

Success for Glasgow Uni Oxfam Group Living Wage Campaign!

Update: Glasgow University have announced their intention to become a Living Wage Employer! You can read thier statement here.


We have been working with the GU Oxfam Group to establish a Living Wage Campaign on campus. The group believe that the University should take the “moral initiative” and become an Accredited Living Wage Employer.

They are collecting signatures for a petition, which will be presented to the University Court & Board in early 2015. You can sign the petitionhere.

You can also keep up to date with the group’s campaign on their Facebook page.

If you would like to read about the other campaigns we are currently supporting in Scotland, please visit our website.


100th Accredited Living Wage Employer in Scotland

We are delighted to reach the milestone of 100 accredited Living Wage Employers in Scotland!

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon paid a visit to the 100th Scottish Living Wage Employer, McKean Developments in Barrhead, Glasgow today.

The First Minister welcomed the progress being made and urged other companies to sign up, she said: “It is great news that 100 companies are now accredited as Living Wage employers. The Scottish Government fully supports the Living Wage campaign and we recognise the real difference the Living Wage makes to the working people in Scotland.

“The Scottish Government is not able to set pay levels in the private sector, or indeed the wider public sector in Scotland where employees are not covered by our pay policy, however we DO encourage all public, private and third sector organisations to ensure all staff on lower incomes receive a fair level of pay, and we are funding the Poverty Alliance to take forward the accreditation scheme.

“The list of 100 accredited companies clearly demonstrates it is not just big businesses who are providing a fairer deal for their staff but small companies like McKean Developments Ltd which is guaranteeing the living wage for their staff. I would encourage all employers across Scotland to take the lead from the these 100 organisations and give their workers a Living Wage.”

Colin McLean sales and technical manager at McKean Developments Ltd, said: “As a Living Wage Employer it is our belief that our workforce deserve to be paid an honest and decent wage in return for their services. It’s that simple. This, in turn, has helped increased both production capability and morale within our business, leading to increased customer satisfaction and a top quality finished product, not to mention a better quality of life for all of our employees.”

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