Utopia Breaks New Ground As The First Living Wage PC Manufacturer

👤by Tim Harmer Comments 📅03.11.2014 18:02:20

The Utopia Computers Team

Scottish firm Utopia Computers is the first UK-based PC system builder and retailer to sign up to the principle of paying their employees a Living Wage, a formalised measure of income which accounts for cost of living in a way that the National Minimum Wage does not.

Independently audited nationwide by Loughborough University's Centre for Research in Social Policy, and the Greater London Authority for London, the Living Wage is a "calculation that reflects the real cost of living, rewarding a hard day’s work with a fair day’s pay" according to the Living Wage Foundation. As of 3rd November 2014 the UK Living Wage figure is assessed to be £7.85 per hour, ~49% higher than the Minimum Wage for those under 21 and 21% higher for anyone over 21.

Living Wage Certification is accredited to companies who assure that their employees, regardless of age, are paid at least a Living Wage. The Living Wage Foundation is seeking to sign up more than 1000 employers to the initiative during National Living Wage week (2nd - 8th November), benefiting over 35,000 employees who would no longer be one of the estimated 5 million paid below this figure.

Craig Hume, Director at Utopia Computers, said it had “made a commitment to our team to adopt the Living Wage framework as soon as it became financially viable”.

“We believe that our entire team are hard working individuals, who put 110% into growing Utopia and giving our customers the best possible service, and as such, should be entitled to a higher standard of living. There is a misconception that working for a smaller company automatically means you are lower paid, this is certainly not always the case. Rather than looking solely to the government to increase the minimum wage, I think that the responsibility also lies with companies who are seeing growth - like ourselves, to ensure that they are paying their employees appropriately.”

The news is also unsurprisingly welcomed by their employees, with 20 year old Technician Cameron McGill stating "[t]he living wage increase has provided myself and my family more stability. It gives us a healthy amount of income to live comfortably, rather than just getting by, payday to payday."

About Living Wage Accreditation

The Living Wage is an hourly rate set independently and updated annually. The Living Wage is calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK. Employers choose to pay the Living Wage on a voluntary basis. The Living Wage enjoys cross party support, with public backing from the Scottish Government, the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition.

The UK Living Wage for outside of London is currently £7.85 per hour. This figure is set annually by the Centre for Research in Social Policy at Loughborough University. The new rate for the Living Wage was announced in Scotland on 3rd November by John Swinney, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth in the Scottish Government.

The Scottish Living Wage Accreditation Initiative works in partnership with the Living Wage Foundation to recognise and celebrate the leadership shown by Living Wage employers across the UK. We believe that work should be the surest way out of poverty.

For more information on Living Wage calculations and accreditation visit http://www.livingwage.org.uk/. Utopia Computers can be found at www.UtopiaComputers.co.uk.

Source: Via Press Release

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