Press release

University accredited as Real Living Wage employer

Published on 5 July 2023

The University of Dundee has been accredited as a Real Living Wage employer.

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Left to right: Professor Shane O'Neill, Councillor Lynne Short and Dr Jim McGeorge

The University has been paying the Real Living Wage since 2014 but sought accreditation to reinforce its commitment to Dundee’s ambitious plans as a Living Wage City and to help encourage other employers to follow suit.

The Real Living Wage is an independently calculated rate based on the cost of living and is paid voluntarily by employers. The rate is currently £10.90 and is calculated annually by The Resolution Foundation on an analysis of the wage that employees need to earn in order to afford the basket of goods required for a decent standard of living. This basket of goods includes housing, childcare, transport and heating costs.

Professor Shane O’Neill, Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Provost of the University, said, “I am delighted that we have been able to reaffirm our commitment to the Real Living Wage through accreditation with Living Wage Scotland.

“I hope this will further strengthen the city of Dundee’s ambition to become a Living Wage City.”

The University worked with UNISON towards the accreditation.

Phil Welsh, of UNISON, said, “The Dundee University Branch of UNISON have campaigned long and hard to ensure the University signed up to be an accredited Living Wage employer. Poverty pay is something which every employer must address, and accreditation is the first step on that ladder.”

Lynn Anderson, Living Wage Scotland manager, said, “We’re delighted the University of Dundee University has become an accredited Living Wage employer.

“The University joins a growing movement of over 3000 employers in Scotland who together want to ensure workers have what they need to get by. The University of Dundee is a prominent institution and a large employer in the city, and their Living Wage accreditation signals significant progress in the drive towards making Dundee a Living Wage City. We hope that more employers will be inspired to join the Living Wage movement by becoming accredited.”

Dundee became the first place in the UK to achieve recognition for its ambitious plan to become a Living Wage City, a place-based approach to driving uptake of the Real Living Wage by local businesses.

The University of Dundee is one of the largest employers in the city, with more than 3000 staff. The University will work with suppliers to encourage paying of the Real Living Wage throughout all of its activities.

Speaking on behalf of Dundee Living Wage Action Group, Dundee City Council City Development convener, Councillor Mark Flynn, said, “I’m delighted that the University of Dundee has become an accredited Living Wage employer.

“We are living through some challenging times, especially with the cost of living crisis. The University is one of the biggest employers in the city, and this latest accreditation will help drive the city to become a fairer place for people to work and live.

“I would encourage any business out there thinking of becoming accredited to get in touch or attend any information event. The Living Wage Action Group is here and ready to help and support you to become a Living Wage accredited employer.”

Peter Kelly, Director of The Poverty Alliance, said, “We all need an income that is enough to cover our needs and protect us from poverty, and it’s only right that employers pay a wage that reflects the cost of living. Too many workers in Scotland are paid less than the Real Living Wage and, at a time of rising costs, are struggling to stay afloat. The Real Living Wage can offer protection from those rising costs.

“Congratulations to the University of Dundee on their Living Wage commitment, and I hope more organisations follow their lead by becoming Living Wage accredited.”


Notes to editors

What about the Government’s national living wage?

In July 2015 the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced that the UK Government would introduce a compulsory ‘national living wage’. It was introduced in April 2016, originally applying for all workers over the age of 25, and is currently £10.42 (from 1 April 2023) an hour and applies to workers over the age of 23. The rate is different to the Living Wage rates calculated by the Living Wage Foundation. The government rate is based on median earnings while the Living Wage Foundation rates are calculated according to the cost of living in London and the UK.

About the Real Living Wage

The Real Living Wage is the only rate calculated according to what people need to make ends meet. It provides a voluntary benchmark for employers that choose to ensure their staff earn a wage that meets the costs and pressures they face in their everyday lives.

The UK Living Wage is currently £10.90 per hour. There is a separate London Living Wage rate of £11.95 per hour.

These figures are announced each year by the Living Wage Foundation. The 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 London and the UK.

The Living Wage Foundation is the organisation at the heart of the UK movement of businesses, organisations and individuals who campaign for the simple idea that a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay.

About Living Wage Scotland & The Poverty Alliance

Living Wage Scotland was established in April 2014 by the Poverty Alliance with the aim of increasing the number of employers in Scotland who are recognised for paying their staff the Real Living Wage. 

Living Wage Scotland is a partnership with the Living Wage Foundation and is funded by the Scottish Government. 

The Poverty Alliance is the national anti-poverty network in Scotland with a long track record in working with individuals and communities affected by poverty to take action, and in providing support to influence policies solutions in Scotland. 

Accredited Living Wage employers in Scotland span private, public and third sectors. SMEs make up 75% of the total number of employers and more than half of Scotland’s local councils are accredited. Find out more on the Scottish Living Wage website.


Roddy Isles

Head of Corporate Communication

+44 (0)1382 384910