Employers in Moray are being urged to make a New Year resolution to ensure that all their staff are paid a living wage.
That is the call being made by local politicians who point to the recent statement by the Scottish Government as an example that all businesses should follow.
Ministers have agreed that the national pay policy for all government employees will see their salary increased to the minimum living wage at the next public sector annual pay settlement.
That would guarantee government employees are paid at a minimum rate of £7.85 per hour from April.
The move has been welcomed by Elgin City North councillor Patsy Gowans, who has championed the issue of a living wage for all employees in Moray.
Councillor Gowans said: “I am pleased that the Scottish Government continues to take the lead on the implementation of the Living Wage for the lowest paid workers but there are other employers out there who need to do more.
“I know far too many people who are barely getting by on shockingly low wages in the care sector and who need additional support over and above their wages just to pay the must basic bills, never mind having any spare to have a little bit of enjoyment.
“The low wage culture in areas like the care sector is gradually improving, with the public sector adopting the Living Wage – but we still have a way to go and I will keep pushing to get more low paid workers uprated to the Living Wage sooner rather than later.”
Moray’s MSP, Richard Lochhead, is asking local employers to follow the lead being set by the Scottish Government, saying: “I am urging other employers to follow the Scottish Government’s lead on this.
“There are many excellent employers in Moray who already offer good pay and conditions to employees but equally there are others who have a way to go.”