Community Benefits and Fair Work at the University of Edinburgh

How procurement can add social value and promote fair work, including the Living Wage

The University of Edinburgh has the duty to consider how to promote fair work and the real Living Wage through procurement (currently £9/hr), and also how to work with suppliers to achieve additional social, economic, employment environmental and/or innovation related community benefits in Scotland. 

Community Benefits at the University of Edinburgh

The Community Benefits Policy commits us to build ties with industry partners to achieve impact for society and support commitments like our Community Engagement Strategy, Widening Participation goals, Zero by 2040 Climate Strategy or work to enhance the student experience. Our suppliers will also work with budget holders and internal and community stakeholders like the Social Responsibility and Sustainability Department to acheive these aims. Community benefits will also be targeted to help the University to achieve Inclusive Growth and Data Driven Innovation aims as part of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal


Priorities for Community Benefits and supplier collaboration:

  • City Deal and Data Driven Innovation: Opportunities to engage with University activity as part of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal, in particular the community engagement, digital skills, R&I, data set and entrepreneurial activity that form the Data Driven Innovation Programme (contact or the Procurement Office for more information)
  • Community Engagement and/or Widening Participation: Opportunities to support the University’s Community Engagement Strategy and Widening Participation Strategy for instance through youth engagement, community consultation, creation or improvement of public spaces, or support for the University’s community engagement and WP work streams; This includes our flagship social impact pledges which will include a planned Centre for Homeless and Inclusion Health;
  • Fair employment and skills: Opportunities for apprenticeships, work placements, and work experience, including for community members as well University students and graduates, or to otherwise support the University’s Youth and Student Employment Strategy; Opportunities to upskill the workforce of the local community and/or University students and staff with certification or training; this could include engagement with University Careers Service, regional economic development and employment programmes like the Capital City Partnership and Joined Up for Jobs, as well as Skills Development Scotland and industry training bodies like CITB Scotland;
  • Inclusive Economic Growth: opportunities to increase local or SME supply chain spend from contract, to engage in target recruitment or work experience opportunities, or other collaborative work to promote inclusive economic growth;
  • Research and Innovation: Support for the Research Strategy, including promotion and/or support of related innovation and/or research, including exploration of opportunities to support innovation through collaboration with the University's Research Support Office and Edinburgh Innovations Ltd., through sponsoring studentships, co-creating research, technology adoption, joint funding bids, or a Living Lab;
  • Climate Change and Environment: Opportunities to minimise negative environmental impacts and support the University’s Zero by 2040 Climate Strategy through commitments or innovation, e.g., engagement with the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation or third sector organisations like Zero Waste Scotland
  • SMEs and Third Sector: Opportunities for SMEs, social enterprises or the third sector including for supported businesses or other means to support the social and professional integration of  disabled or disadvantaged persons, or work with the University’s Enterprise Development Team;
  • Equality and Diversity: Opportunities to support the University’s Equalities and Diversities strategy, for instance to promote a positive culture and equal opportunity for all, especially regarding the protected characteristics under the UK Equalities Act 2010 of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnership and pregnancy and maternity, e.g., through targeted recruitment or use of supported businesses;
  • Global Engagement: Opportunities to support communities, students or projects internationally in support of Edinburgh Global and Global Engagement Plan;
  • Learning and Teaching: Support for the Learning and Teaching Strategy, including opportunities for experiential learning on campus, in the community and in businesses and other organisations, nationally and internationally;
  • Mutually agreed donations or joint fundraising efforts for projects or initiatives to support communities, for instance the University of Edinburgh's Community Grants Programme

Fair Work Practices, including the Living Wage

The University of Edinburgh is commited to promoting fair work practices through its procurement activity, in line with the principles outlined in the Fair Work Convention of Effective Voice, Opportunity, Security, Fulfillment and Respect. As a real Living Wage accredited institution, the University expects its supplier to pay the living wage for all UK-based workers delivering its contracts, including subcontractors, and engages with its suppliers to ensure that this is achieved. Working with suppliers, Scottish Government and other public authority partners, we will continously improve our approach to promoting fair work.  


Fair Work Links:

Statutory Guidance Addressing Fair Work Practices, including the Living Wage, in Procurement

Fair Work Practices Best Practice Guidance and Toolkit

Please contact Peter Hayakawa, Procurement Policy Officer, with any queries or comments (0131 651 4380).