Artizan Jewellery and Café, on Chruch Street, Stornoway, is now an accredited Scottish Living Wage Employer.

Artizon joins Car Hire Hebrides, both owned by John and Alison Cunningham, in becoming accredited.

Claire Clydesdale of Artizan says: “Becoming accredited is a very straightforward process – it takes about ten minutes to register as an accredited Living Wage Employer.

"At Artizan, we have nine employees. As a family business, we have paid staff a living wage for a while now, but decided to have it recognised and be accredited to coincide with Living Wage Week."

Living Wage Week runs from Monday 11 November to Saturday 17 November and will see a variety of events held to celebrate the living wage movement.

The Real Living Wage is the only wage rate based on what people need to live, while the National Living Wage is the government minimum for over 25’s.

Already, Claire says the benefits of being accredited are noticeable. "It makes the staff feel more appreciated and gives them a higher income to share with their families, and spend within the wider community," she explains.

"Our staff are essential to the success of our business and we want them to feel appreciated and recognise the benefits of being part of that success.

"Making it a great place to work, happy environment, leads to a good atmosphere in Artizan shop and cafe, which the customers notice and makes it somewhere customers want to visit.

 “The rate doesn’t discriminate against hours or the work that is done – so everyone employed, whether they are front of house or cleaners, are covered by the living wage.

“We hope this will encourage more people in the community to pay their staff a fair wage and it would be great to see more business come on board and become accredited too.

“On Monday, that wage goes up to £9.30 and we will be making sure we put our wage up.”

Howard Maciver, of both Car Hire Hebrides and Artizan, relates: “Car Hire Hebrides became accredited three years ago.  John and Alison wanted to make sure everyone was paid a decent wage, especially when they are starting off in life at a young age.”

“My advice to any business owners thinking about becoming accredited is: ‘Go online, read all about it and see if it’s for you.’

“It’s a very simple process and letting everyone know you pay your staff a decent wage is something to be proud of.”

Esther Martin, Eve Finlayson, Joan Macleod, Claire Clydesdale and Alison Cunningham.  Photos by SandiePhotos.