Christina McKelvie MSP has today welcomed new figures showing that 18 business in South Lanarkshire have become accredited Living Wage employers and has encouraged other businesses to consider signing-up.

The figure is the highest of any local authority outside of Glasgow and Edinburgh.

The Living Wage Accreditation Scheme, run by the Poverty Alliance and funded by the Scottish Government, signs employers up to paying all of their staff a Living Wage of at least £7.85 per hour. Across Scotland 318 employers have signed up to the scheme so far, well on the way to the Scottish Government’s target of 500 employers signed up by next March.

Scottish Government research published earlier this year found that payment of the Living Wage can improve employee’s health and wellbeing and reduce poverty. The research also detailed how businesses themselves saw benefits from attracting and retaining high-calibre staff, which studies show, can increase business productivity, as well as reducing recruitment costs.

Commenting, Christina McKelvie MSP said:

“I would like to congratulate the employers in the South Lanarkshire area who have signed-up to the Living Wage – this won’t just be good for those who work for them but for the reputation of their business and the entire area as a place to do business.

“The First Minister has set the ambitious goal of 500 Living Wage accredited businesses in Scotland by March next year. With 318 businesses already signed-up, great progress has been made to date but I really want more employers, regardless of size, to become accredited businesses.

“We want Scotland to be the best place to do business in the UK and by expanding Living Wage accreditation we can also have the businesses with the best reputation in the UK. Signing up to the Living Wage isn’t just the right thing to do – it can help businesses attract and keep the best staff leading to increases in their productivity. Of course increasing the take home pay for local employees is also good news for other local businesses, as the increased local spending power should have a positive knock on effect on the local economy.

“I encourage employers across South Lanarkshire to explore the considerable benefits of Living Wage accreditation, both for their employees and for their business, and sign up.”