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Edinburgh venue becomes UK’s first Living Pension employer in the hospitality sector

People-focused organisation sets example with new accreditation


A FLAGBEARER for the hospitality industry has become the UK’s first business in hospitality to be recognised as a Living Pension employer.


Surgeons Quarter, owned by the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd), is leading the way with its implementation of numerous workplace benefits as the country faces a worsening staff mental health crisis.


The venue has been recognised by the Living Wage Foundation (LWF) for ensuring that all 159 members of staff are contributing at least 12% of their salary towards their pension. 7.5% of that comes from the employer – 4.5% more than the required minimum.


As a heavily people-focused organisation, Surgeons Quarter offers industry-leading pay comfortably above the £10.90 per hour LWF Living Wage, as well as a 50% staff discount at all Best Western Hotels, access to an employee assistance programme, Bike2Work scheme, complimentary gym membership and discount cards.


Scott Mitchell, Managing Director of Surgeons Quarter, said: “Hospitality is not a sector that is renowned for its pay and conditions and we want to be at the forefront of changing that.


“Vital hardworking staff are rewarded appropriately – but not factoring in a pension is only stacking up problems for the future.


“We are incredibly proud to be the first business in the industry to be accredited as a Living Pension employer, but it’s important we don’t stop here and strive to keep improving our offering to our talented teams.


“This is why we offer numerous opportunities and reward schemes to all of our staff members to not only benefit them at work, but also outside of the office.”


The organisation operates Edinburgh’s largest independent hotel and offers cutting-edge hospitality, operating multiple RCSEd venues in the city’s old town.


After starting at the LWF accredited firm, employees are treated to a familiarisation overnight stay where they can enjoy the venue’s Ten Hill Place luxury hotel facilities with a guest of their choice.


Living Pension accreditation launched in March 2023 and builds on the work of the real Living Wage by providing stability and security for workers now and in the future.

Director of the Living Wage Foundation, Katherine Chapman said: “We are delighted that Surgeons Quarter are the first hospitality business to sign up to be a Living Pension Employer, providing stability and security for their workers now and in the future.


“Over the last ten years the Living Wage campaign has grown in strength and numbers. Now paid by over 12,500 employers, it delivers essential pay rises to 430,000 workers every year.


“The Living Pension builds on this by encouraging employers to do more to help their workers build a pension pot that meets basic everyday needs in retirement.”


Surgeons Quarter promotes, sells and manages all commercial activities held within the RCSEd campus. It includes facilities for conferences, meetings, private events, parties, weddings and its own four-star hotel Ten Hill Place as well as Café 1505 and SQ Travel.


All profits support the charitable aims of the College which are education, assessment and advancement in surgical standards worldwide.

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