East Renfrewshire Council has shown its commitment to fair pay by becoming an accredited Living Wage employer. 

The “significant milestone” was reached last week as the local authority agreed that, from April, none of its employees will be paid less than the Living Wage rate of £9.50 per hour.

This rate is higher than the statutory minimum for over-25s of £8.72 per hour, introduced in April this year.

Councillor Tony Buchanan, leader of East Renfrewshire Council, said: “This milestone represents the latest step in our journey to creating a fairer future for all in East Renfrewshire.

“We are firmly committed to tackling poverty and inequalities across the area.

“This accreditation not only ensures we have fair work policies in place for our own staff, we are also now in a better position, through this accreditation, to promote the Living Wage beyond the council to our many local partners, employers and through our supply chain.”

As key employers, councils can have a significant impact in their area by becoming accredited, as suppliers contracted to deliver services with the local authority are encouraged to pay the real Living Wage, bringing extra income to low-paid workers.

Jamie Hepburn, Business and Fair Work Minister, said: “I am pleased to see East Renfrewshire Council announcing their Living Wage accreditation.

“I’d like to congratulate the local authority on its achievement."

Peter Kelly, director of the Poverty Alliance, also welcomed the move.

He said: “The Living Wage accreditation of East Renfrewshire Council is a signal of their commitment to tackle low pay and in-work poverty in the local communities they serve.

“Workers need a wage that meets their everyday needs but too many workers across Scotland are locked into poverty. The pandemic has shone a light on the important role of essential workers in keeping our society going and it’s now more important than ever that these workers are valued with a real Living Wage, enabling them to continue delivering important services that we all rely on.

“I hope that more follow the lead of East Renfrewshire Council and join the growing movement of businesses and organisations that are going further to ensure workers and their families have what they need to thrive.”