Local MSP Maree Todd, SNP, has urged businesses in Orkney to sign up to the Scottish Living Wage – as part of Living Wage Week.
The Scottish Living Wage is independently calculated based on the cost of living – with the real Living Wage rising by 25p to £9, above the minimum wage of £7.83 for workers aged over 25.
There are currently only six accredited Living Wage employers in Orkney.
There are many benefits of accreditation, with research showing paying the real Living Wage leads to a fall in absenteeism and a significant impact on recruitment and staff retention.
Maree Todd MSP said:
“The real Living Wage can make a huge difference to both workers and employers.
“For business, paying the Living Wage makes sense – it’s an investment in people and all the evidence shows it leads to increased productivity and reduced staff absence and turnover.
“It is completely unacceptable that the UK government did not use last week’s Budget to raise the National Living Wage, extend it to all workers and end discrimination of young people. With low pay one of the main drivers of in-work poverty, it is vital that employers who can pay the real Living Wage do so.
“I would strongly encourage all employers in Orkney to look into the real benefits of becoming an accredited Living Wage employer.”
Orkney Islands Council is a Living Wage employer, however, it has a very large number of people working on zero hours contracts.