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By Cara Mackay on 01 Dec 2015

What We’ve Been up to at Gillies and Mackay : The Living Wage Expo 2015

A couple of weeks ago, we attended the first-ever Living Wage Expo which was held in Edinburgh. Us and 114 other firms attended to represent our businesses who all wished to promote the benefits of being part of the living wage movement.

So far there are over 1100 Living Wage Employers in the UK, with 360 of those being in Scotland. This is now aimed to be 500 by March next year.

It was a great event that allowed like-minded businesses to connect as well as provide others with information about the incentive.

Here’s a few things we learned along the way

Becoming a Living Wage Employer is an Investment

Although it’s not always an easy change to make, most employers will agree (as discussed in our previous post about us becoming a Living Wage Employer) that the benefits outweigh the costs.

Here are the main reasons businesses decide to make the change:

  • 80% of employers believe that the Living Wage has enhanced the quality of the work of their staff
  • 66% of employers reported a significant impact on recruitment and retention within their organisation
  •  70% of employers felt that the Living Wage had increased consumer awareness of their organisation’s commitment to be an ethical employer
  • A 25% fall in absenteeism Improved loyalty and customer service; fewer complaints.

All Kinds of Businesses Can Get Involved

Just from being at the event it was clear to see from everyone who was there, that there was a huge variety of firms there. From care homes to coffee shops, it highlighted the fact that there is good reason for all businesses to become accredited.

It’s About A Lot More Than Just Money

It really comes down to changing the relationship between businesses and their employees. This was apparent from watching a video SSE made about employees who had recently been put on a living wage. With many talking about how they could now afford to take holidays and save money. It was clear to see that the use of paying workers a living wage made them feel valued in the company and gave them something they could look forward to working towards.

It’s a Movement


With more and more businesses joining, the incentive is growing on a large scale.
Ann Budge, who was speaking at the event, made an excellent point which summed up the growing realisation businesses are having across the UK

“How can they (employees) take pride in what they do if we are effectively taking advantage of them?”

For anyone wanting to be a part of the change can have a look here

Here’s what others thought of the event..

All in all, it was a great day with a great message for business owners to take away with them. So spread the word! 😀

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