The Living Wage provides one mechanism through which some workers can improve their experience of work through an acceptable, increased minimum level of pay. Over 2,500 employers across the UK, and more than 500 in Scotland, have committed to paying their employees the Living Wage by becoming an accredited Living Wage Employer (LWE). Since the establishment of the Scottish Living Wage Accreditation Initiative, the proportion of UK LWEs based in Scotland has doubled, making Scotland the fastest growing area in the UK in terms of LWEs.
Across the UK, discussions have taken place on how local places can become a Living Wage town, city or region. To date, however, there has been no consensus on precisely what it would mean to be a Living Wage Place. This has created risks around local groups self-declaring an area as a Living Wage Place without formal advice or recognition; the use of different criteria by different groups across the UK; the reputation of the Living Wage Foundation or the Scottish Living Wage Accreditation Initiative being undermined and the Living Wage brand being devalued.
We are working in partnership with The Poverty Alliance to commission a feasibility study to identify a series of possible models for a Living Wage Place recognition system, to develop a set of robust criteria against which these models can be assessed and to determine the strengths and weaknesses of each model.