Work has to pay says Linlithgow business consultant

Chris Horne
Chris Horne

A former recruitment consultant is aiming to set up his own agency - all with the intention of paying the living wage to those involved.

Chris Horne (41) owns a business consultancy in Linlithgow and has began working on a project to start a social enterprise and provide well paid work to people who need it.

The idea is to pay the living wage to employees and get people into work by providing only jobs that are living wage-accredited as well as doing consultancy work with local employers to get them on board with the living wage.

He said: “I saw a lot of the benefits living wage can bring. The biggest one is that it pays to work.”

Chris argues that for all the things you need to live a comfortable life, the minimum wage doesn’t pay enough. Things that are perceived as essentials nowadays, like internet, are not “within your grasp”.

He said: “Employers on the whole are for the idea of living wage but industries like care and hospitality find it really difficult so there’s a lot of hard work to be done.”

The voluntary living wage is set by an independent foundation and is currently £8.25 per hour, after rising from £7.85 last month. There are around 380 Scottish firms paying it but Chris said it’s particularly difficult for certain industries to make the move to the living wage, which is a fifth higher than minimum wage.

He said the public are getting more of a mind to pay ethically and if they know people are being looked after properly, they would be happy to pay a little more.