News

02/11/2016
Living Wage Accreditation

The Living Wage is an hourly rate set independently and updated annually. The Living Wage is calculated according to the basic cost of living using the ‘Minimum Income Standard’ for the UK. Decisions about what to include in this standard are set by the public; it is a social consensus about what people need to make ends meet.The rate, paid to all workers aged over 18 at organisations which are part of the voluntary scheme, is £1.75 an hour more than the statutory living wage for those aged 21-24 and £1.25 an hour more for those aged 25 and older. The increase will benefit thousands of workers at living wage-accredited organisations across the UK.

Employers choose to pay the Living Wage on a voluntary basis. The Living Wage enjoys cross party support, with public backing from the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition.

Living Wage Foundation Director, KatherineChapmansaid: “We are delighted to welcome Bell Group to the Living Wage movement as an accredited employer.  The best employers are voluntarily signing up to pay the Living Wage now. The Living Wage is a robust calculation that reflects the real cost of living, rewarding a hard day’s work with a fair day’s pay.”

Bell Group was also delighted to host First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon at our Head Office on Monday 31st October 2016 as she announced the new annual Living Wage rate of £8.45 an hour (this rate does not include London, which operates under the London Living Wage rate of £9.75 p/h).

She said: “The new living wage will be a welcome pay rise for thousands of Scottish workers and ensures people’s basic wage continues to meet the real costs of living. Like Bell Group, 630 employers in Scotland are now accredited living wage employers and I want to see all businesses implement the new living wage rates as soon as possible.”

“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, while sending a strong signal to customers about fairness.

Megan Strachan, 21, an employee of Bell Group will receive the increased living wage, and she said the scheme has enabled her to buy a car and be more independent.

Annette Bell, co-founder of Bell Group said: “The majority of our staff were already paid well above the living wage, however becoming accredited meant that we could renew our commitment to ensure that all our staff have a decent quality of life.”