The boutique hotel group becomes Hebridean first.

A group of boutique hotels on Skye has become the first hospitality provider in the Hebridean islands to sign up to the UK’s real Living Wage and says its move will help post Brexit recruitment of staff in one of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations.


Sonas Hospitality, which has three multi-award-winning hotels, has agreed to pay employees at least £9 an hour - the figure set by the Living Wage Foundation based on actual living costs for workers outside London. This rate applies to all direct employees and third-party contracted staff and is significantly higher than the statutory minimum for over 25s of £7.83 per hour introduced in April 2018.  


Staff in the hospitality business work very hard and we believe each one should be valued and treated fairly,” said Anne Gracie Gunn who heads the group which owns Duisdale and Toravaig House on Sleat and Skeabost House near Portree. “All are important links in the visitor experience chain.


The UK Government recently announced changes to immigration rules under which low-skilled migrants could come to the UK to work for up to a year but automatic free movement of people from the European Union would end under Brexit.


Around two-thirds of Sonas’ staff on Sleat and some 50% at Skeabost are not local. The company employs just under 80 at peak season with 48 all year-round.


Jack Evans, Living Wage Scotland Manager, said: “I hope Sonas’ public commitment to their staff encourages other hospitality employers to follow its lead. Its accreditation is another hugely positive step for Living Wage Scotland.


Mrs Gracie Gunn added: “Adoption of the real Living Wage shows we invest in our staff as well as our hotels’ infrastructure and helps demonstrate to overseas and UK workers that no matter what happens after Brexit there is decent money to be made in the hotels industry which also offers excellent career prospects.


Among awards won by Sonas’ hotels in recent years have been Scotland’s top hotel, island hotel and group hotel.


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