19/11/2015 – 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.
- 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
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”.
For more information please contact Peter Kelly on 07766 606454 or email firstname.lastname@example.org