Utopia shows off VR headsets and new PCs at Living Wage expo

The Living Wage is set to increase by £9 an hour by 2020
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115 Scottish firms gathered together last week as part of the Living Wage Exhibition, where system builder and retailer Utopia Computers showcased its new line of workstation PCs.

Taking place at Tynecastle Stadium, Edinburgh, Utopia also showed off virtual reality (VR) headsets, giving attendees a taste of the virtual world.

The exhibition was put together to celebrate the diversity of Living Wage firms across Scotland, and give businesses who are not yet accredited with the opportunity to see how beneficial the Living Wage is for employees.

Craig Hume, director at Utopia Computers, said: “We started paying the Living Wage just over a year ago and morale at Utopia has never been higher.

“As a retailer it’s all too easy to say that the margins simply are not there, but I would argue that higher staff retention and happier team members easily make it worthwhile, never mind the fact that it is the responsible thing to do.”

Utopia was one of the first Living Wage employers to become accredited in Scotland, which was awarded to the firm by the Living Wage Foundation.

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The Living Wage guarantees that all of the company’s staff will receive at least the Living Wage, which is currently set at £7.65 per hour outside of London.

During the event Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for fair work, skills and training, Roseanna Cunningham, highlighted the UK Government’s recent welfare cuts and research.

She added: “Progress on the Living Wage has been significant since the creation of the Scottish Government’s ‘Fair Work’ brief last autumn. As of today, we are now up to 338 firms and remain well on course to have 500 accreditations by March.

“Our latest signees are one of Scotland’s finest universities and a regular host of golf’s Open Championship. I hope, like many of the other firms accredited to date, they can help us set a good example to others around the country and help tackle low pay.”

Changes to the Living Wage are set to come into force by 2020. The Government plans to increase the rate to £9 an hour, which is an increase of 45p per hour each year.

However, the Living Wage Foundation rate is calculated according to the cost of living, and is currently set at £9.15 in London and £7.85 outside of the capital. 

Peter Kelly, director of The Poverty Alliance, commented: “Today’s event is testament to the commitment of employers in Scotland to paying the Living Wage and a demonstration of the growing network of organisations who have committed to paying the Living Wage.”

Read more: Why I adopted the Living Wage at Utopia Computers

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