A RECORD number of Scots are being paid the real living wage, according to the latest figures. 

Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that 91% of employees aged 18 and above earned at least this amount in 2022. 

That is up from 8.5% the previous year and is currently the highest since data began being collected in 2012. 

Employment minister Richard Lochhead said Scotland is “leading the way” in paying the real living wage – currently set at £10.90 an hour – with the highest proportion of employees receiving this across the four nations of the UK. 

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In England, 87.5% of employees aged 18 and over are paid at this level along with 88.2% of workers in Wales and 85.4% in Northern Ireland. 

The ONS data also highlights that Scotland has a lower gender pay gap than the UK as a whole – with a gap of 3.7% between male and female workers in comparison to 8.3% across the rest of the UK. 

However, Lochhead said there is still “work to be done” to improve wage equality. 

He said: “The Scottish Government’s commitment to promoting payment of the real living wage is a fundamental part of our National Strategy for Economic Transformation and a key cost of living policy to deliver a fairer and more equal society.

"The ONS figures confirm that Scottish employers are leading the way and we can be proud of the progress that has been made.

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“There is still work to be done on tackling the gender pay gap, but we are taking steps to make this happen.

“We will publish our refreshed fair work action plan later this year, outlining the actions needed to close the gap further and create a more diverse and inclusive workplace. We will continue to work with employers, employability providers and partners to achieve this aim.”