Queen Margaret University celebrates real Living Wage commitment

By Press Office

Queen Margaret University (QMU), Edinburgh has joined a growing roll-call of Scottish universities making the real Living Wage commitment by becoming an accredited Living Wage employer.

The University welcomed the Scottish Government’s Higher and Further Education Minister, Shirley-Anne Somerville, to celebrate the move on campus during Living Wage Week (30 October - 5 November).

The new UK rate of £8.45 and the London rate of £9.75 was announced on Monday 31 October 2016, as part of Living Wage Week. Previously accredited employers will implement the newest rates by no later than 1 May 2017, and many will choose to implement much sooner.

"Dee Denholm, Head of Human Resources at QMU, said: “We believe that paying at least the real Living Wage to all QMU staff is the right thing to do. Paying each member of our team fairly is at the core of our values, and the Living Wage accreditation offers formal recognition for this”."


Higher and Further Education Minister Shirley-Anne Somerville, said: “I’m delighted that Queen Margaret University is now accredited as a Living Wage Employer, which is a key part of the Scottish Government’s commitment to making our country a fairer place for everyone to live, work and study.

“Paying the Living Wage is an investment in people and the evidence shows it leads to increased productivity and reduced staff absence and turnover. I look forward to more universities and colleges following QMU’s lead.”

Peter Kelly, Director of the Poverty Alliance which runs the accreditation initiative in Scotland said: “Congratulations to Queen Margaret University on becoming an accredited Living Wage employer”.

“With two-thirds of children in poverty in Scotland living in a household where someone works, paying the real Living Wage is more important than ever.

“Not only does paying the real Living Wage ensure that everyone takes home a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work, it has benefits to businesses too. These include increased productivity, increased staff retention and lower rates of absenteeism.”

The Living Wage commitment will see everyone working at QMU, regardless of whether they are permanent employees or third-party contractors; receive a real Living Wage, which is significantly higher than the government minimum wage of £6.70 and the new minimum wage premium for over 25s of £7.20 per hour introduced this April. The University’s third party contractors will adopt the Living Wage as and when existing contractual arrangements are renewed.

The real Living Wage rates are calculated annually by the Resolution Foundation and overseen by the Living Wage Commission, based on the best available evidence on living standards in the UK. The real Living Wage is an hourly rate set independently and re-calculated annually based on what people need to meet their basic everyday needs.

Notes to Editor

For further media information contact Jonathan Perkins, Press and PR Officer, E: jperkins@qmu.ac.uk T: 0131 474 0000.

  • The Poverty Alliance runs the Scottish Living Wage Accreditation Initiative in partnership with the Living Wage Foundation, and funded by the Scottish Government.
  • Employers choose to pay the real Living Wage on a voluntary basis. The Living Wage Foundation, The Poverty Alliance and the Scottish Living Wage Campaign believe that work should be the surest way out of poverty.
  • Other universities in Scotland who have accredited include: Aberdeen University, Glasgow University, Glasgow Caledonian University, Perth College UHI, and Strathclyde University

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