Wood, the global consulting and engineering company, has been confirmed as an accredited Living Wage employer, strengthening Aberdeen’s Living Wage employer movement.
The company will work with local partners who are developing ambitious plans to make Aberdeen a Living Wage City. Through Aberdeen’s Community Planning group ‘Aberdeen Prospers’, partners including Aberdeen City Council, ACVO and Scottish Enterprise are working with Living Wage Scotland to see the city recognised as part of the Living Wage Places scheme, to help tackle local poverty rates.
It is estimated that one in five children in Aberdeen are living in poverty, with a large proportion of those in families where at least one parent is working, highlighting the impact of in-work poverty.
The Living Wage accreditation of Wood will see their sizeable UK workforce and regular supply chain workers earn at least the real Living Wage of £9.90. The real Living Wage rate is independently calculated each year to reflect the amount workers and their families need to cover everyday needs.
The new real Living Wage rate of £9.90 was announced on 15th November as part of Living Wage Week and is significantly higher than the UK statutory minimum wage rates, including the national living wage – which is set to increase to £9.50 per hour in April.
Wood’s Living Wage commitment means there are now 53 accredited Living Wage employers based in Aberdeen, of which Wood are the largest private sector employer.
Recent research from the Smith Institute found that if just 25% of low earners had their pay raised to the real Living Wage, this could deliver a £3m boost to Aberdeen’s local economy through increased consumer spending.
Claire Yule, President of Reward and Mobility at Wood, said: “Wood is committed to helping to create a more resilient, sustainable, liveable world. This includes supporting the communities around us and improving lives. We’re delighted to announce we have been accredited as a Real Living Wage employer. People are at the heart of what we do, and this is part of our commitment to our employees and those who work within our supply chain.
Working together is paramount and we fully support the plans to make Aberdeen a Real Living Wage City. When we collaborate, we can achieve things that may not have been possible alone. We look forward to working with partners to help reduce poverty and increase quality of life in Aberdeen and beyond. We hope other organisations across the UK will join us in supporting this vital movement.”
Aberdeen City Council Leader, Councillor Jenny Laing, chair of Community Planning Aberdeen Board said: “Living Wage Week provides an opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of paying the real Living Wage and highlights how employers can play their part in helping tackle poverty and associated issues in the city.
“The announcement that Wood, an international consulting and engineering company, is now an accredited Living Wage employer is fantastic news and I am delighted that they have joined Aberdeen’s growing Living Wage employer movement.
“As one of the region’s largest employers, it is important that Aberdeen City Council leads by example and responds to the needs of our employees. By encouraging the private and public sector to follow suit, we can join forces to alleviate in-work poverty and deliver on one of the key priorities within Aberdeen’s Local Outcome Improvement Plan (LOIP). By having this shared aspiration, the private and public sector can work together to achieve real Living Wage City status by 2026 and make Aberdeen a city where everyone can prosper.”
Christine McCaig, Living Wage Projects Coordinator at the Poverty Alliance said: “We’re delighted that Wood has become an accredited Living Wage employer. They join a growing movement of more than 2400 employers in Scotland who together, want to ensure workers have what they need to thrive.
The impact of the real Living Wage in tackling in-work poverty is strengthened when major employers and anchor institutions demonstrate leadership and become Living Wage accredited. We hope to see more employers following this example, to achieve the vision of making Aberdeen a Living Wage City.”