Low pay is one of the three main drivers of in-work poverty, which has been an increasing feature of poverty statistics in recent years. In 2013/14, half of working age adults in poverty lived in working households, as did more than half of children in poverty. There is a need to ensure that those in work get fairly rewarded, supporting those on lowest incomes and protecting public sector jobs.
Research evidence also highlights that paying the Living Wage benefits both employees and employers alike. Paying the Living Wage demonstrates a commitment by employers to their staff, and in return employers have experienced benefits including increased productivity, reduce absenteeism and improved staff morale.
The Scottish Government is an accredited Living Wage employer. The Living Wage is paid to staff (including NHS) and staff of contractors working in our buildings. It has been a feature of our public sector pay policy since 2011. The Scottish Government has encouraged other Scottish public bodies to follow that lead. The Scottish Government funds the Poverty Alliance to run the Scottish Living Wage Accreditation Initiative and the target of 500 accredited employers was achieved in March 2016. In addition, the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014 took every opportunity to tackle Living Wage through procurement. Following this statutory guidance, addressing Fair Work Practices, including the Living Wage in public contracts which was published on 6 October 2015.