Standard Life among first to embrace real Living Wage rise

Edinburgh firm to pay new hourly rates from this month onwards instead of waiting until May 2017 deadline 

As today (Saturday, 5 November) marks the last day of Living Wage Week 2016, Edinburgh-based Standard Life has announced it will implement the new hourly rates for the real Living Wage from 16 November this year, well ahead of the May 2017 deadline.
The pensions, annuities, savings, investments and insurance provider became fully accredited by the Living Wage Foundation in 2014 and, as a Living Wage Employer, says it continues to make sure all of its employees and young interns in the UK, as well as those providing contracted services who are based on the company’s UK premises, are paid a minimum of the real Living Wage.
The new rates for the real Living Wage are:
  • UK £8.45 (up from £8.25)
  • London: £9.75 (up from £9.40)
The real Living Wage is independently calculated, based on what employees and their families need to get by.
Sandy Begbie, chief people officer at Standard Life, said: “We’ve been a fully accredited Living Wage Employer since 2014 and were the first private sector company to become a Living Wage Friendly Funder in 2015.
“We know that paying the real Living Wage has a positive impact on the lives of individuals and brings benefits to our business and our wider community. Knowing that we are doing the right thing is something our people can take pride in too.
“This is both Living Wage Week and Good Money Week here in the UK and our organisation is proud to be supporting both of these important initiatives and the values they underpin.”
John Cowan, 19, who is an intern with Standard Life, added: “My income went up when I started my internship with Standard Life as I’m earning the voluntary Living Wage. I have my car and phone bill to pay for, as well as my clothes – my parents don’t expect to pay for that any more – and having more money is giving me more of my independence.
“My car insurance isn’t a tight squeeze at the end of the month and I can I can do the small things, like put more petrol in the car. It means I have more opportunity to plan and start to think about the future more too, which is amazing.”
Katherine Chapman, director of the Living Wage Foundation, said: “Business by business and organisation by organisation our employers are voluntarily choosing to close the pay gap in the UK between what people need to live on and the government minimum that every employer has to pay.
“The increase in the real Living Wage will mean thousands of employees around the country will get a much needed increase to their pay packet to help them meet the cost of living. That’s the difference paying the real Living Wage makes.
“During Living Wage Week we celebrate the leadership of those great Living Wage employers who make this possible.”

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