Scottish government pledges to improve productivity through living wage

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The Scottish government has launched a voluntary code of conduct aimed at encouraging employers to improve employee productivity and diversity through measures such as paying the national living wage.

Its Scottish Business Pledge, which comprises nine components and will be launched today (26 May) is aimed at encouraging employers to commit to the best modern business practices.

It is designed to promote fair and sustainable business practice to Scotland’s businesses by boosting productivity, recognising fairness and increasing employee diversity.

By making a pledge, employers can demonstrate their commitment to shared values and to delivering them through their actions and future plans.

Employers that commit to the Scottish Business Pledge must pay the living wage at £7.85 per hour to all direct employees aged over 18, deliver on at least two other of the nine elements and commit to achieving the rest over time.

The national living wage is higher than the national minimum wage of £6.50.

John Swinney, deputy first minister of the Scottish National Party (SNP), said: “The Scottish Business Pledge is a new partnership between government and business to promote our shared ambitions of fairness, equality and sustainable economic growth.

“There is a large body of credible evidence that shows progressive workplace practices, like workforce engagement, taking an active role in the community and investing in innovation, benefit businesses through increased productivity, enhanced employee commitment and improved reputation.

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“With the living wage at its core, the pledge covers issues such as zero hours contracts, investing in young people, pursuing innovation and internationalisation and progressing diversity. Organisations can now make the Scottish Business Pledge to demonstrate their commitment to these values and to delivering them through future plans.

“The Scottish Business Pledge should become a badge of pride for Scottish businesses, sending a clear signal to employees, customers, the supply chain and the wider community that [organisations] have strong growth ambitions and acknowledge their contribution to creating a fairer society.”