Edinburgh Trams, as part of Transport for Edinburgh, has become an accredited Living Wage employer. The Living Wage commitment will see everyone working at Edinburgh Trams receive a minimum hourly wage of £10.90 per hour. This Living Wage rate was announced on Thursday 22nd September 2022 in response to the cost-of-living crisis. This rate is significantly higher than the government minimum for over 23s, which currently stands at £9.50 per hour.

This announcement by the award-winning operator of Edinburgh’s tramway system strengthens the plan to “Make Edinburgh a Living Wage City” and the drive to tackle in-work poverty in the city.

The real Living Wage is the only UK wage rate calculated according to the costs of living. Employers choose to pay the real Living Wage on a voluntary basis, recognising the value of their workers and ensuring that a hard day’s work receives a fair day’s pay.

Since 2011 the Living Wage movement has delivered a pay rise to over 59,000 people in Scotland and put over £370 million extra into the pockets of low-paid Scottish workers.

In Scotland, 91% of all jobs pay at least the real Living Wage, this is higher than in any other UK nation. Despite this, over 221,000 jobs in Scotland still pay less than the real Living Wage. 

Sue Bucher, HR Manager of Edinburgh Trams, said:

We recognise that our dedicated workforce is our most valuable asset, and we’re proud to be accredited as Living Wage employers.

As well as recognising the vital contribution of colleagues to the delivery of an award-winning, world-class transport system, our commitment to fair pay will help us to recruit and retain new members of the Edinburgh Trams team as we look towards the launch of services to Newhaven.

Cllr Jane Meagher, chair of the Edinburgh Living Wage Action Group and Housing, Homelessness and Fair Work Convener for the City of Edinburgh Council, said:

I’m delighted that Edinburgh Trams has committed to becoming a Living Wage employer. At a time when the cost-of-living crisis is making life hard for so many people and so many businesses in Edinburgh, this is really encouraging news. I hope it acts as a catalyst for more employers to sign up and join the community of over 600 businesses in Edinburgh that have made this commitment to providing every worker with a decent wage that is enough to live on.

The Edinburgh Living Wage Action Group is full of inspiring employers and business leaders who are determined to make this city a great place to work and thrive. We’re proud of the progress we are seeing in this city, with more than 140 (32%) businesses becoming Living Wage accredited since we launched in late 2021.

Jenny Gilruth, Minister for Transport, said:

By announcing its accreditation as a Living Wage employer and paying the real Living Wage, Edinburgh Trams is showing a commitment to fair work and its staff. Paying the real Living wage ensures workers have more money in their pockets and research shows it boosts staff morale and contributes to worker well-being and job satisfaction which in turn improves retention rates and reduces recruitment costs.

I commend Edinburgh Trams for achieving this significant milestone and I encourage all employers regardless of size or sector to follow their example and consider becoming an accredited real Living Wage employer.

Christine McCaig, Living Wage Scotland Manager, said:

We’re delighted that Edinburgh Trams has become an accredited Living Wage employer. They join a growing movement of over 2900 employers in Scotland who together want to ensure workers have what they need.

The impact of the real Living Wage in tackling in-work poverty is strengthened by a collective effort from local employers and we hope to see more employers in the city join Edinburgh Trams and become accredited to drive the vision of Making Edinburgh a Living Wage City.