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Studio Lutalica Becomes a Certified Living Wage Employer

Article by Cecilia Righini

Last month, Studio Lutalica proudly achieved certification as a Living Wage Employer in Scotland. While we’ve always upheld the principles of fair pay, this certification reaffirms our dedication to compensating our team above the living wage, currently set at £11.44 per hour. Unlike the legal minimum wage, the living wage considers essential factors like housing and the overall cost of living, ensuring a fairer standard of pay.

Living Wage Employer Logo showing three intersecting circles, a small orange one on the bottom right, a medium yellow one on the right and a big blue one on the top left with text inside reading 'We are a Licing Wage Employer'

Our Values Around Fair Pay

Fair pay is integral to advancing gender equality, diversity, and inclusion at Studio Lutalica. Recognising different levels of experience and contributions while maintaining parity among roles such as designers, project managers, and communications managers is crucial. Although we can’t pay less than our competitors for competitive services like web development, we ensure all roles contributing to our mission are valued equally.

One policy we’re particularly proud of is compensating our staff for all their work, including creating proposals, providing feedback, and engaging in essential tasks. At Studio Lutalica, we challenge the norm that creatives and social justice advocates should work for free due to their passion. We also find innovative ways to fund non-profit projects that may not have the budget to pay for our services.

Flexible Work Options

We offer our team flexibility in how, where, and when they work. Two of our four core team members work part-time to pursue other passions and commitments. Lou Brown, our Business Development Manager, is also an illustrator and the founder of Goodstrangevibes, while our Communications and Fundraising Manager, Lily, is training to be a psychodynamic therapist.

Most of our creative team chooses to freelance by choice, allowing them to work on projects that resonate with them and adjust their workload according to other priorities.

Challenges and Decisions

Ensuring fair pay has its challenges. We’ve navigated various models, including performance-based commissions, demand-based salary adjustments, and pay brackets – highly suspicious of models that reward unjust entitlement. Balancing sustainability with fair compensation is particularly challenging as a small organisation during the cost of living crisis. While we aim to pay everyone more, we must ensure financial stability so that we can keep everyone on the pay roll.

Looking to Models and Inspirations

We’ve been inspired by feminist and social justice models, recognising that straight white men often advocate better for themselves, resulting in higher pay. At Studio Lutalica, we advocate for our team, making it okay to talk about money and ensuring fair compensation. However, disclosing employee salaries requires careful consideration due to legal sensitivities.

The Living Wage: Why It’s More Than Just a Paycheck


  • The Living Wage Revolution: The concept of a living wage goes beyond numbers on a paycheck. It’s about fairness, dignity, and ensuring everyone can lead a decent life. Join us on a journey through the living wage, peppered with humour and cheekiness.
  • Why a Living Wage Matters: A living wage ensures individuals can thrive, not just survive. Covering basic needs like housing, food, and healthcare reduces financial stress, benefiting both individuals and society.
  • Difference Between Minimum Wage and Living Wage: The minimum wage often falls short of living expenses. A living wage, calculated based on actual needs, ensures comfort and stability.
  • Living Wage and Employee Well-being: Happy employees are productive employees. A living wage reduces financial stress, allowing employees to focus on work.
  • Benefits for Companies: Paying a living wage boosts employee morale, reduces turnover, and enhances productivity. It’s also a PR win, showcasing the company’s commitment to fairness.
  • Economic Stability: Financially stable workers boost local businesses and the economy. Paying a living wage creates a positive ripple effect.
  • Implementing a Living Wage: Start by calculating the living wage in your area, review your budget, and make necessary adjustments. The benefits far outweigh the sacrifices.
  • Social Justice: Paying a living wage is a step towards social justice, leveling the playing field and ensuring dignity for all workers.
  • Challenges: Adopting a living wage can be challenging, especially for small businesses. However, with careful planning and commitment, it’s achievable.
  • Success Stories: Companies paying a living wage see increased employee loyalty and better financial performance. Success stories prove that fairness pays off.
  • The Future of Work: The future of work is fair, inclusive, and pays a living wage. By committing to a living wage, we’re creating a better, fairer world for everyone.


Becoming a certified Living Wage Employer is a significant milestone for Studio Lutalica. It reflects our commitment to fair compensation, setting a standard we hope others will follow. If your pay doesn’t allow comfortable living, what does that say about your values? This certification is a badge of honor we wear proudly, encouraging others to follow suit.

Future Commitments

We aim to review salaries annually, adjusting them according to inflation and increased experience. Our goal is to continue fostering an inclusive and supportive environment where everyone feels empowered, supported, and excited about their work.