Borders businesses come together to celebrate Living Wage week

Published: 16th November 2022

Borders businesses have come together to celebrate national Living Wage week (14-18 November) and to share their positive experiences of being Living Wage employers

They are also encouraging other local businesses to do the same.

We hosted a business breakfast on Wednesday 16 November at Inspire Learning: Tweedbank, to mark the important week by bringing together local organisations to discuss the benefits of the Living Wage and hear about the experiences of employers and employees who are already paying and receiving it.

Representatives from Scottish Borders College, South of Scotland Enterprise, and Eildon Housing Association amongst others, were present to discuss the importance of the Living Wage group.

The real Living Wage

The real Living Wage is an independently calculated rate based on the cost of living and is paid voluntarily by employers. The rate is currently £10.90. This is different to the UK government’s National Living Wage scheme, which is not calculated according to what employees need to live on.  The National Living wage rate is currently £9.50.  

One of the latest Borders organisations to become an accredited Living Wage Employer is Duns based Farne Salmon and Trout - the region’s largest private sector employer with a core workforce of 700 people.

Farne Salmon is one of many Borders businesses to recently become a Living Wage employer.

Rachael Sudlow HR Business Partner at Farne Salmon

“Farne Salmon is delighted to have achieved accreditation by increasing our wages to pay the real Living Wage or more, we feel that this is a representation of our commitment to our employees – during this difficult time.”

Carrie Calder, Manufacturing Associate at Farne Salmon

“With the current climate being what it is, Farne achieving the real Living Wage accreditation, is a weight off their employee’s shoulders. Knowing that the cost of everything is going up, our wages are helping us to compete with that”.

Robin Tatler, Executive Member for Communities and Equalities and Chair of Scottish Borders Living Wage Group

“As one of the major employers in the Borders area, Scottish Borders Council are extremely proud to be an accredited Living Wage employer.

“The aim of the Scottish Borders Living Wage Group is to encourage every employer in the Borders to pay the Living Wage. The best way for us to do that is to set an example for other employers and promote the many benefits of offering a fair day’s pay for the work staff do.  In the current Cost of Living Crisis, it is vital that we all work together to support the local economy.

“Today’s business breakfast has been a fantastic opportunity to bring together like-minded organisations to share their positive experiences of becoming accredited Living Wage employers.”

Christine McCaig, Interim Manager at Living Wage Scotland

“We are delighted to be celebrating the growth of the Living Wage network in the Scottish Borders as part of Living Wage Week this year.

Ensuring that staff are paid at least the real Living Wage is the single most important thing employers can do to support their people with rising living costs. 

Businesses who pay the real Living Wage reap the benefits in terms of better recruitment and retention, less sickness absence and a more motivated workforce while helping to redistribute wealth more evenly and boost the local economy.”