Wed 28 Aug 19
Glenrothes is the first Town in the UK to be awarded recognition for a plan to become a Living Wage Town.
An Action Group of employers in Glenrothes has launched an Action Plan today setting out how they will work together on “Making Glenrothes a Living Wage Town”. As part of Living Wage Scotland’s ‘Making Living Wage Places’ scheme, local businesses and employers will be encouraged to pay employees the real Living Wage and become accredited as a Living Wage employer.
The launch event is being held at Glenrothes Enterprise Business Hub, and the Action Group includes major local employers such as Fife Council, Fife Voluntary Action and Fife College alongside local private business owners from Glenwood Hairdressing Salon and Landfall Scaffolding.
64 Fife employers have already voluntarily committed to ensure all their staff and subcontracted staff earn a real Living Wage of £9.00 an hour, significantly higher than the government minimum of £8.21.
11 of Fife’s accredited Living Wage employers are based in Glenrothes, and together employ the equivalent of 12% of the Fife region’s workforce.
The Action Plan launched today seeks to triple the number of employers accredited in the town in the first year and will offer small grants to help local businesses achieve Living Wage accreditation.
The Action Group intend to prioritise their engagement with Care, Construction and Manufacturing employers as key industries in Glenrothes.
Fife council are the largest Living Wage employer based in Glenrothes and are driving the approach to make Glenrothes a Living Wage town, after accepting a recommendation back in 2015 by the Fairer Fife Commission that Fife should become a Living Wage region.
The Scottish Government’s Fair Work Minister Jamie Hepburn said: “It is fantastic to see Glenrothes setting out its ambition to become the UK’s first ‘Living Wage Town’.
“The significance of the real Living Wage cannot be overstated and evidence shows that paying it leads to increased productivity, better morale and lower sickness absence. Paying the real Living Wage also demonstrates that an organisation is committed to treating its workforce well.
“While Scotland is making progress in becoming a Living Wage nation, and punches well above its weight in terms of the proportion of people paid at least the real Living Wage, more remains to be done. The Scottish Government is committed to doing everything in our power to put fair work and equality at the heart of our labour market.”
Councillor David Alexander, Co-Leader of Fife Council said: “Glenrothes is leading the way by becoming the first town in the UK to take this town-based approach to addressing the issue of low pay. Fife Council's aim is to create conditions in Fife where all residents have the capability to live good lives, make choices and reach their potential. As part of our strategy to create a Fairer Fife we recognise the value of joining the Living Wage accreditation scheme. I’m delighted to announce the launch of the ‘Making Glenrothes a Living Wage Town’ action plan and I encourage business owners and employers to find out more on the website our.fife.scot/fairerfife/livingwage/.”
Councillor David Ross, Co-Leader of Fife Council said: “We are putting fairness at the heart of everything we do by bringing together Fife’s communities, services and businesses to fight poverty and inequality. A key element in creating a Fairer Fife is encouraging employers to pay the Living Wage as a way of demonstrating their leadership and commitment to their community. We will be working together with our partner businesses and organisations on the Action Group to encourage and influence others to achieve Living Wage accreditation. This will not only to benefit employees but the whole community and if more businesses in the town can pay their staff the Living Wage we will build a strong reputation for being a great place to work and live.”