McKean Developments Limited recently became the 100th employer in Scotland to become an accredited Living Wage Employer. This milestone for both The Poverty Alliance and the Scottish Government merited a ministerial visit to McKean Developments’ office/unit in Barrhead, near Glasgow. The visit was attended by Scottish First Minster Nicola Sturgeon and Stewart Maxwell MSP for West of Scotland.
In a press release issued to the Scottish Government and various local and national media outlets Colin McLean, Sales and Technical Manager comments:
As an ethical company in today’s society, we feel that there is no drawback to pledging the commitment to pay the Living Wage to all of our employees. We made this commitment to ourselves several years ago, however during 2014’s Living Wage Week we discovered the accreditation, which we immediately decided to implement.
We are a specialist joinery contractor who specializes in the development of social housing and social care projects. From a business perspective, the Living Wage Employer certification not only opens doors to new contracts and schemes, but ensures a consistent, committed and dedicated workforce, teeming with high morale. Being a Living Wage Employer and putting this knowledge out also helps to promote the certification itself, and the role The Living Wage Foundation should be playing in today’s industry.
As a Living Wage Employer it is our belief that our workforce deserve to be paid an honest and decent wage in return for their services. It’s that simple. This, in turn, has helped increased both production capability and morale within our business, leading to increased customer satisfaction and a top quality finished product, not to mention a better quality of life for all of our employees.
From a management perspective, the Living Wage accreditation minimizes an array of potential difficulties. Studies have shown that paying a Living Wage can reduce absenteeism by 25%, provide a significant increase in retention and long-term recruitment and help to provide a more flexible workforce, amongst a host of other benefits. Of course, this does come at a cost, however the benefits to our company, our employees and ultimately the economy are incalculable, and any cost to the business is negated by a higher output and a true sense of worth, which is felt by management and operatives alike.
On a national level, last year it was estimated that more than 1 in 5 UK citizens were living below the poverty line, with Glasgow, our home city and one of the key areas of operation being amongst the highest. As an integral part of the United Kingdom; a global leader and considered to be the 24th wealthiest country in the world; we feel this is completely unacceptable and in itself is a call for change. By not keeping up with inflation, the minimum wage is failing to meet the demands of the cost of living in Scotland and the UK, forcing more and more people into poverty as the inequality gap continues to widen. Paying the Living Wage affords people to provide for themselves and their families. We believe this should go hand-in-hand with being a full-time employed citizen of this nation; being able to make ends meet. It’s not a miracle cure and it’s clear that the causes of poverty go much deeper than this, however we believe it is a good place to start. From an economical stance it is a good move, increasing the Marginal Propensity to Consume and Personal Expenditure of the working population, which we believe is a positive step towards economic growth.
The Living Wage Foundation and Poverty Alliance have been a pleasure to work with and the sign-up process seamless and simple. As a small-medium business of around 25-30 employees, we would strongly encourage other businesses; from one-man operations to multi-nationals; to make this pledge to a better quality of life for our nation’s people.
You can find out more about becoming an accredited Living Wage employer by visiting www.livingwage.org.uk.