Supporting the Living Wage

Supporting the Living Wage

CECA Scotland is proud to work alongside Living Wage Scotland to encourage employers in the construction industry to explore the business value and social impact of becoming accredited Living Wage employers.

The construction sector is a significant contributor to Scotland’s economy, generating £21.4 billion per year and employing around 170,000 people.

Construction companies currently make up around 10% of Living Wage Scotland’s diverse employer network. 22% of these businesses have chosen to seek formal accreditation in the past year including CECA Scotland members, NRS Group.

As we look to rebuild after an extremely challenging year, and to truly level up living standards, we need to see an even greater focus on lifting people onto a wage that covers the cost of living.

Living Wage employer accreditation is designed to recognise and celebrate employers who go beyond their statutory obligations and pay their staff a wage that is calculated according to the real cost of living in the UK. The real Living Wage is currently calculated as £9.50 per hour for the UK and £10.85 for London.

While the civil engineering sector in Scotland is covered by the Construction Industry Joint Council (CIJC) agreement, meaning employees should already be receiving a living wage, there are still many concrete benefits for CECA Scotland members in becoming accredited Living Wage employers.

There are now more than 1900 Living Wage employers based in Scotland who have collectively uplifted over 45,000 workers to the real Living Wage. More that 400 of these businesses have chosen to accredit since the first lockdown in March 2020.

Becoming part of the movement of Living Wage accredited employers in Scotland allows your company to be celebrated and publicly listed as a real Living Wage employer. With ethical consumerism and ethical job-seeking on the rise, employers are increasingly recognising the benefits both in terms of recruitment and reputation in relation to being accredited as a Living Wage employer.

Secondly, there is a compelling business case for paying the real Living Wage. Employers in the network have reported a range of benefits from seeking Living Wage accreditation, these include:

  • Enhanced company and brand reputation
  • Improved retention rates of staff and reduced costs associated with recruitment and training.
  • Strong signal of Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Differentiate themselves from competitors and industry peers
  • Reduced absenteeism
  • Boost to staff moral resulting in improved motivation and productivity
  • Signal of embedding a Fair Work culture within the organisation

Thirdly, another benefit for Civil Engineering businesses can be in delivering an advantage in bidding for work with local authorities and public bodies. Currently 21 out of 32 Local Authorities in Scotland are accredited as Living Wage employers, with an aim to make this all 32. This means that, as you may have encountered already, Local Authorities are looking for Living Wage employer accreditation as part of their tendering process.

Grahame Barn, Chief Executive of CECA Scotland said:

“CECA Scotland took the step of becoming an accredited Living Wage employer three years ago and we have never looked back. As the trade body representing firms who together carry out up to 80 per cent of all civil engineering activity in Scotland, we take seriously our responsibility to model best practice and encourage others to follow suit.

“Most workers employed in our sector will already be earning the Living Wage so my message to CECA members is simple: get yourself accredited and help promote the Living Wage and the Fair Work agenda. Becoming an official Living Wage employer sends out a positive signal about your company’s values and helps attract more young people into the industry.”

Living Wage Scotland is hosted by The Poverty Alliance in partnership with the Living Wage Foundation and works with employers across Scotland who wish to become accredited as Living Wage employers.

Visit the Living Wage Scotland website for more information or get in touch with