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1,000th living wage employer revealed

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More employers from across the country are paying the living wage

World famous porridge maker Stoats has become the 1,000 living wage employer in Scotland.

The Edinburgh-based business joins organisations from across the private, public and voluntary sectors in Scotland that have opted to pay staff the voluntary amount of £8.45 an hour.

This is set to rise by 30p to £8.75 an hour next year.

The announcement was made during a visit to Stoats company headquarters by first minister Nicola Sturgeon.

The Scottish Government has funded the Poverty Alliance to deliver the Scottish living wage Accreditation Initiative, delivered in partnership with the Living Wage Foundation, since 2014.

Peter Kelly, director of the Poverty Alliance, said: “What an achievement for the movement for a living wage in Scotland. When the accreditation initiative was launched in 2014 there were only 20 employers signed up. To reach 1000 in a little over three years is remarkable.

“Across Scotland, budgets are under pressure from rising prices. In this context the decision of companies like Stoats to pay the voluntary living wage is important.

"They know it’s critical for the wellbeing of their team and the success of their company. We hope more companies follow their example

“We also want to thank Scottish Government for their support for the living wage accreditation Initiative. It has allowed us to reach this important milestone and remain the fastest growing part of the living wage movement in the UK.”

Nicola Sturgeon said the living wage benefits both workers and employers.

“Evidence shows paying the living wage leads to increased productivity, better morale and lower sickness absence. It also demonstrates to the world that the organisation is committed to treating its workforce well,” she said.

Tony Stone, managing director of Stoats, commented: "Our staff are absolutely integral to our brand. We appreciate the hard work our team commits to produce 38,000 porridge oat bars by hand daily, consistently delivering quality products for our customers.

“We are very proud to be a living wage employer and to receive this recognition from the first minister on our commitment to our workforce.”