Edinburgh aims to win Living Wage City status

Council chiefs are looking to make Edinburgh a "Living Wage City" by enlisting private companies to help promote better pay across the Capital.
The city council is already an accredited Living Wage employer - now it hopes to enlist others tooThe city council is already an accredited Living Wage employer - now it hopes to enlist others too
The city council is already an accredited Living Wage employer - now it hopes to enlist others too

Cities can qualify for the status from the Living Wage Foundation by bringing together employers from different sectors to set targets for increasing the proportion of workers earning the Real Living Wage.

Making Edinburgh a Living Wage City was one of the recommendations from the Edinburgh Poverty Commission when it reported in September.

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The Real Living Wage, which is based on how much it costs to meet everyday needs, is currently set at £9.50 per hour, compared with the UK Government minimum wage of £8.72 per hour.

The council is already an accredited Living Wage employer. To secure Living Wage City status, major local public and private sector employers must not only pay the real Living Wage but also come together to promote it in their areas.

The foundation looks for “anchor institutions” that employ large numbers of local people, are able to influence their networks, so that means involving other public sector organisations like universities and hospitals, prominent private sector employers, sports and cultural institutions like football or rugby clubs, museums and theatres, and transport providers like airports, bus and rail companies.

Council leader Adam McVey said: “We are committed to continuing to promote the benefits of paying the Real Living Wage to the businesses and suppliers we work with through our procurement process. The council’s commitment to promoting the Real Living Wage is reflected in the evaluation of tenders for contract opportunities, where it is now standard practice to evaluate a tenderer’s Fair Work practices.”

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And depute council leader Cammy Day, who was vice-chair of the poverty commission, said: “We have far-reaching ambitions for Scotland’s capital. The commission’s final report included a recommendation for Edinburgh to take steps to achieve Living Wage City status. This is now being explored, together with the Poverty Alliance.

" At the moment there are nearly 400 employers in Edinburgh who are accredited, with anchor institutions such as the council, and we aim to significantly increase this number through an action plan to deliver a set target of Living Wage employers across the city.”

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