Fifth of Falkirk workers will feel change in their pay packets

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More than a fifth of all workers in the Falkirk area are set to benefit from the new National Living Wage by 2020.

According to figures out this week, the impact of the National Living Wage (NLW) – the new wage floor of £7.20 an hour for workers aged 25 and over which comes into effect in April – will vary considerably across Scotland.

By 2020, around 500,000 employees across Scotland – 22 per cent of the total – will be affected by the NLW.

In Falkirk, it is believed that 22 per cent of employees will benefit.

Only 11 per cent will see their pay increase but others will reap the rewards as employers try to maintain pay differentials between staff.

While welcoming the new wage floor, the Resolution Foundation, which carried out the research, said that implementing it will prove a greater challenge in lower-paying areas such as Clackmannanshire, which at 33 per cent tops the list of areas to benefit most, followed by East Renfrewshire (31%).

The Foundation said minimising job losses and ensuring large groups of workers do not get stuck earning only the legal minimum should be a top priority for the Scottish Government, the Fair Work Convention and businesses.

And a focus on boosting productivity and progression in low paying sectors such as retail, hospitality, cleaning and care will also be needed to ensure that the NLW is affordable for employers, according to the Foundation.

It is currently carrying out an employer-focused investigation on how firms adapt to the new NLW.

The Foundation added that, despite the name, the UK government’s new legal wage floor was not a ‘living wage’ and there remained plenty of scope to expand the reach of the voluntary living wage, which is currently £8.25.

Conor D’Arcy, policy analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said: “The welcome new NLW will have a huge impact on low pay, particularly towards 2020 as it approaches £9 an hour.

“While the pay rise should be affordable for most firms, implementing the new wage floor will be challenging for some employers.

“That’s particularly true in areas where wages tend to be lower.”