Your pay and benefits – Living Wage

New pay structure for our lowest grades

Our City Vision for 2050 is to make Edinburgh welcoming, thriving, fair and pioneering. This may mean working in different ways than we do now. We need to make sure that our pay and conditions’ framework supports these new ways of working. We want to do this by making our pay and benefits ‘simpler, fairer and sustainable’.

On 1 April 2021, we made changes to our pay structure to improve the pay of colleagues working in our lowest grades. We changed how we pay the Scottish Local Government Living Wage and we made sure that there are different pay rates between Grades 1-3.

What’s changed

  1. Before 1 April 2021, we paid a top up to colleagues’ hourly pay rate if they earned less than £9.34 per hour. This made sure every colleague earned at least the Scottish Local Government Living Wage (SLGLW).
  2. From 1 April 2021, the SLGLW is now built into their hourly rate of pay. This means that everyone affected will see their hourly rate rise. The SLGLW will no longer be paid as a top up or shown as a separate payment on their payslip.
  3. This formed part of the national three year pay agreement between the Scottish Joint Council (SJC) parties of CoSLA and the recognised trade unions. 
  4. We’ve also made some changes to the pay structure for grades 1 to 4, to make sure there is a difference in pay between grades. This means that everyone in grades 1 to 3 will see an increase in their pay.
  5. The starting pay for grade 4 has also increased.  Any new joiners at grade 4 will start on the new minimum.

Download the pay grade structure that came into effect on 1 April 2021 on the Council Intranet The Orb,

Who is affected by these changes and what you can expect

All Local Government Employees on grades 1 to 3 have been affected by these changes. Everyone in this group will have received an uplift in their basic pay.

If you’re in this group, you should have received a letter to your home address. The letter included a statement that tells you how your pay will change. If you have not received a letter but think you should have, please contact the Your Pay and Benefits helpdesk on

0131 469 5555 - select option 1

or email

yourpay&[email protected]

Craft Apprentices are not employed on Local Government terms and conditions and are not included in these changes.

If you’re in grade 4 and above at 1 April 2021, your base pay won’t be affected by the change.

These changes mean that

  • all colleagues now have the living wage paid in their basic salary, with no need for a top up
  • nearly 4,500 colleagues have received a pay increase
  • pay differentials have been restored for the lowest graded roles
  • we’ve improved our gender pay gap.