THE owners of a new Edinburgh bar have immediately signed up for Scottish Living Wage Accreditation.

Nauticus co-owner Kyle Jamieson was so determined to buck the low paying trend of the hospitality industry that he began paying the living wage as soon as the bar opened in August this year.

Co-owner Iain McPherson also co-owns two of Edinburgh’s top cocktail bars, Hoot The Redeemer on Hanover Street and Panda & Sons on Queen Street, which were Scotland’s first living wage cocktail bars.

“We wanted to follow what has been done at Panda & Sons,” said Jamieson. “Iain is a big advocate of the living wage and treating staff well. Hospitality is an area where people often pay less but if you pay people well, then they are keen to come to work.”

Proof of this, he said, is in the fact that workers at the two cocktail bars have been there for years, in an industry known for its high staff turnover.

“We started paying the living wage even before we applied for accreditation and I am pretty sure we are the only bar in Leith that is paying it,” said Jamieson. “All of our staff work so hard for us and there are late nights and long hours on your feet so they definitely deserve it.

“If you pay staff properly, then they are happy, always smiling and that has an effect on the customers. They are more likely to stay for more than one drink if the staff are chirpy and happy.”

As a bar tender who had to work for years for the minimum wage, Jamieson said he knew from experience what it was like.

However he added: “There are still so may bars in the big chains that are not paying it. I see them advertising for bar supervisors at the minimum wage.”

The Westminster Government’s so-called “living wage” is merely a new minimum wage rate for staff over 25-years-old. It was introduced in April 2016 and the rate is £7.83 per hour as of April 2018. The government rate is based on median earnings while the Living Wage Foundation rate of £8.75 is calculated according to the cost of living.

Over 25,000 people in Scotland have had a pay rise thanks to the Living Wage Scotland and more than 1150 employers headquartered in Scotland have become accredited. Accreditation is voluntary.