A THRIVING business in Clackmannanshire has been recognised for its commitment to staff after being named a 'living wage employer'.

Forth Companies Limited, which Alloa-based Forth Plant & Sons is part of, is one of only seven in the county to hold the formal accreditation.

The UK living wage currently sits at £8.45 an hour – and applies to all workers over 18 – which employers can decide whether or not to pay to their staff.

It sits above the government's minimum wage of £7.20 and is meant to better represent the level of income needed for a basic cost of living.

Forth Companies was given the stamp of approval from the Scottish Living Wage Accreditation Initiative earlier this year.

Grant Sleith, managing director, said: "We were motivated to establish this as we want to create a stable and secure workplace with good prospects for the future for our staff.

"We do not agree with the current trend of zero-hour contracts and poor wages. As an employer, we understand the need to live a comfortable lifestyle and believe paying above the Scottish Living Wage threshold helps achieve this."

The initiative was established in 2014, with the aim of increasing the amount of employers in Scotland highlighted for paying staff the living wage.

It is hosted by The Poverty Alliance, works in partnership with the Living Wage Foundation and is funded by the Scottish Government.

The news is the latest in a long line of exciting developments for the Clacks business, which saw Forth Plant & Sons kept unseasonably busy throughout the winter period.

Over the last six months it has made its pledge with the Federation of Small Businesses which included meeting levels of professional standards to ensure efficient running.

It is registered with the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (Sepa) and also increased the workforce by 33 per cent.

Plans for a new larger site were implemented – with a move to Old Russell Yard – and bigger offices are in the pipeline.

There has also been investment in new, larger pieces of plant to keep the fleet modern and allow customers access to quality equipment.

And there is plenty in store for the months ahead; the site will open to members of the public so they can pop in and secure hires.

Grant, who joined his dad in the family business last year, alongside brother Gregor, would also like to increase staffing levels to further invest in the community through more jobs.

He is currently working closely with Skills Development Scotland, and has already filled an apprenticeship spot.

He also plans to increase hire sales by 25 per cent by investing in fresh equipment – keeping customer expectations at the very heart.

Grant added: "Our business aims with regards to customer service and training of our staff are of the highest importance.

"We truly believe a happy workforce results in happy and content customers.

"We provide our staff with up to date training and always welcome new ideas and suggestions for training courses.

"We are currently investing a large amount of money with a local training company to provide our staff with qualifications to enhance their knowledge and ability to ensure all services are of the highest standard."