BREWDOG founder James Watt took a luxurious island holiday with his celebrity girlfriend Georgia Toffolo before deciding to axe the Real Living Wage for new employees at his company, The National can reveal.

In November the Scottish businessman jetted off to the Maldives, in the tropical Indian Ocean, for a holiday packed with activities like scuba-diving and flyboarding in nearly 30-degree heat.

He was joined by Toffolo, a former Made in Chelsea and I'm a Celebrity... star better known as "Toff".

The glamorous trip was rounded off with a stop in Mumbai to visit one of the increasing number of international BrewDog locations, before returning to Aberdeenshire, where temperatures do not reach double figures at that time of year.

Photos posted to both Watt’s and Toffolo’s public Instagram accounts show the couple living it up during their tropical getaway.

The trip came just a month before BrewDog announced it was no longer paying new members of staff the Real Living Wage, as workers struggle with rising prices.

Since purchasing its first bar in Aberdeen in 2009, BrewDog now owns more than 100 bars worldwide including locations in Las Vegas, Shanghai, Reykjavik and Mumbai as well as sites across the UK.

READ MORE: Reputational damage adding to BrewDog’s woes as energy crisis hits hospitality industry

But the firm has been dogged by controversies over the years including coming into conflict with the booze advertising watchdog.

It was rocked by allegations which emerged in 2021 of bosses fostering a “culture of fear” within the company. The company has maintained Watt was subject to a smear campaign by disgruntled former employees.

He came in for criticism for the firm’s decision, revealed on Wednesday, that new hires will not be offered the Real Living Wage.

And now Watt, BrewDog's CEO, is under fresh fire after details of his luxury getaway were revealed.

READ MORE: BrewDog announces it will no longer pay new workers Real Living Wage

Bryan Simpson, Unite Hospitality’s lead organiser, said: “With the removal of the Real Living Wage, our members at BrewDog will struggle to afford to travel to Manchester let alone the Maldives.

“BrewDog have been paying the real living wage since 2015. To withdraw it now, during the most acute cost of living crisis in a generation is outrageous.

“We are already working with our BrewDog members across the country to collectively challenge this awful decision and force the senior management of the company to do the right thing by the workers who have made them the money now being used on trips to the Maldives."

In its most recent accounts, Watt blamed an increased operating loss of £24 million on “continued investments in our people” and rising prices as well as the firm’s international expansion.

BrewDog declined to comment.