Living Wage

Doing the little things in Cardiff on St. David’s Day

This St David’s Day, we are asking organisations across Cardiff to think about the little things they can do to ensure a fair day’s pay for their workers, whether it’s understanding how to become an accredited Living Wage employer, or reaching out to other organisations to encourage them to consider the real Living Wage, or helping us share the positive messages about the difference that paying the real Living Wage can make.

Cardiff Council is currently the only accredited real Living Wage local authority in Wales. The Council and partners are championing Cardiff as a Living Wage city which is having positive impact on the city and its employees. As of 1 February 2021, 45% of Wales’ total accredited employers were based in Cardiff and Cardiff employers had contributed to 69% of total uplifts in pay. Recent research by Cardiff University has shown that real Living Wage accreditation by 124 Cardiff employers has resulted in 7,735 workers receiving a pay rise which has added over £32m to the local economy in just over 8 years.

To hear more about the benefits of the real Living Wage from employers and employees in Cardiff please watch this video.

Leader of Cardiff Council, Cllr Huw Thomas, said:

“The seemingly small things really can make a big difference, and I know the significant impact paying the real Living Wage has had in the lives of our own staff. We’re pleased to be supporting organisations across the city to enable them to do the same for their own employees, and this St David’s Day I would encourage any Cardiff business interested in paying the real Living Wage to get in touch to find out more.”

Cardiff Council understand the wider benefits that the real Living Wage can bring to individuals and employers, as well as to the City; and they have made a commitment to reimbursing accreditation fees for SME employers based in Cardiff through their accreditation support scheme. For more information about the real Living Wage in Cardiff please visit the website.

Cardiff Council also encourages local employers to provide a Payroll Savings and Loans Scheme to their staff, enabling their employees to save directly from their salaries and if needed, access affordable credit from an ethical provider. More information can be found on this on the Cardiff & Vale Credit Union’s website.

Cynnal Cymru is the accrediting body for the real Living Wage in Wales and are here to help you through the accreditation process. Get in touch, join the movement, do the little things.

We wish you all a happy St David’s Day. Diolch yn fawr!

Doing the little things on St. David’s Day

This St David’s Day, we are asking organisations across Wales to think about the little things they can do to ensure no one in Wales has to work for less than the real Living Wage, whether it’s understanding how to become an accredited Living Wage employer, or reaching out to other organisations to encourage them to consider the real Living Wage, or helping us share the positive messages about the difference that paying the real Living Wage can make.

The real Living Wage is the only UK wage rate that is voluntarily paid by 7,000 UK businesses who believe their staff deserve a wage which meets every day needs – like the weekly shop, or a surprise trip to the dentist. In Wales, there are 278 accredited Living Wage employers, and over 11,428 employees in Wales have received a pay rise as a result of their employers accrediting. At UK level, the real Living Wage enjoys cross-party support.

Despite the huge challenges of the past year, we have seen continued momentum around the real Living Wage in Wales. In 2020, 55 employers across all sectors and industries in Wales took the step of accrediting as Living Wage employers, (compared to 56 in 2019). By taking individual action these employers saw a total of 4,300 workers uplifted to a real Living Wage.

According to the TUC, nearly a quarter of all workers in Wales are being paid below the real Living Wage rate. In some Welsh constituencies that number is 1 in 3.

In a recent Joseph Rowntree Foundation Briefing, it was found that 4 in 10 households in poverty in Wales contain a full-time worker, and over half have someone in work, showing that while work reduces the risk of poverty, it often isn’t enough to allow someone to escape from it.

Paying people a real Living Wage gives people a route out of poverty and means they have more money to spend in their local economies, and on the things that matter to them.

So, as we start to plan our way out of COVID, and ensure we are more resilient for the future, we encourage all employers to consider what little things they can do to make things better. What positive action can you take today? Becoming a real Living Wage employer is a small step that can bring about big changes for your workers, your organisation and your community.

Cynnal Cymru is the accrediting body for the real Living Wage in Wales and are here to help you through the accreditation process. Get in touch, join the movement, do the little things.

We wish you all a happy St David’s Day. Diolch yn fawr!

All figures based on 1 February 2021 data

Living Wage Employer Case-study: Sparkles Cleaning

Cynnal Cymru are the accrediting body in Wales for the Living Wage Foundation’s Accreditation scheme. With over 100 accredited employers in Cardiff- as part of the Cardiff as a Living Wage City ambitions and Action plan we hope to raise that number to 150 and increase the number of people in the City working for an accredited employer to 48,000 by 2022.

As part of that vision, we are presenting case studies of Cardiff employers who have already made their commitment to fair pay to see the difference that accreditation has made to them and their employees.

Today, we focus on Sparkles Cleaning Services Wales and West Limited. Sparkles Cleaning Services has a strong heritage. Founded in South Wales by Ceri Jennings 17 years ago, the business has flourished. From helping people make their homes Sparkle to now helping businesses and national organisations create pleasant and safe places to work.

However, Sparkles has a dual role: to provide stress free professional cleaning, and to provide secure employment to individuals in difficult circumstances.

As such, one of their principles is ‘What Matters to Our People’.  This is not just a slogan on a poster somewhere, but how we behave.  People who join Sparkles are often surprised when they are asked this at the beginning, expecting to be told, instead, what the job entails and what they will be doing.

They work with the following organisations in their dual role of providing stress free professional cleaning, and providing secure employment with:

Cardiff City Council, Cardiff Adult Learning, The Hubs in Cardiff, PACE, and the ESOL Teams.  They are registered as a Work Trial Employer, a Disability Confident Employer and are part of the Cardiff Commitment Drive.

They believe the role of leadership is to add value to those undertaking the value creation roles – those undertaking the cleaning – so spend a great deal of time asking, “What gets in the way of you doing a good job?”.  Leadership effort is then focused on removing obstacles.

However, this is a two-way relationship, where everyone is encouraged to take responsibility.  Individuals are asked to try and solve problems themselves, and find out, and do, what matters to customers.

They have found that this leads to lower turnover of staff, and have a loyal team, proud of their role as a result.  In addition, they have seen an increase in turnover of 400% in the last two years, as customers experience the benefit from their approach.

On a practical level, they continually invest in training, and pay everyone above the real living wage.  In addition, they have recently provided the second profit share with everyone, which was very welcomed, particularly due to the difficulties some of their team members have found during the covid-19 situation.  The profit share is not related to sales targets, but is simply a reflection that the reason the company has made a profit is due to the hard work of their team – so everyone should get a share in the benefits.  Additionally, the profit share was equal, regardless of the usual hours individuals worked, reflecting the fact that everyone contributes, no matter the hours they are able to offer.

They are now taking further steps, in their wish to move away from the traditional employment relationship, and are co-producing with everyone, a rights and responsibilities document based on how everyone wishes to work with each other.  This is built on their work teaching teams therapeutic skills to enable them to settle disagreements and solve problems together, where they have seen fantastic progress.

They are keen to be an exemplar of working differently in practice, and are confident that what they have achieved can be achieved in other organisations.  If other organisations are inspired to take action themselves, they feel a real difference can be made to the Foundational Economy in Cardiff, where more money is kept in the pockets of people living and working in the area, improving economic prosperity in the region.

“It is important to us that we recognise the hard work of our teams, and ensuring we pay the Living Wage, to reflect the real cost of living, is one of the ways we look to do that. We hope our accreditation will inspire other organisations to do the same.”

Simon Pickthall, Director

Visit the Sparkles Website or find out more about making Cardiff a Living Wage City 

Community Foundation Wales Accredit as a Living Wage Funder

The scheme recognises funders that commit to supporting charities by funding posts at the Living Wage or above.

Community Foundation Wales has received recognition as a Living Wage Funder in the UK from the Living Wage Foundation.

As part of their commitment to being a Living Wage Funder, Community Foundation Wales supports successful applicant charities to pay the Living Wage to any grant-funded staff posts.

Living Wage Funders themselves are Living Wage Employers and then, where possible, also encourage grantees to become accredited employers over time.

Living Wage Funders work together to end low pay in the voluntary and community sector.

Thousands of charities and funders have already embraced the real Living Wage across the UK, but low pay remains a significant challenge across the sector. The Living Wage Funder scheme has been funded by People’s Health Trust and developed in collaboration with a range of funders including Trust for London, Barrow Cadbury, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Comic Relief.

The minimum wage for those aged 25 and over in the UK is currently £8.72 an hour in the UK, but the Living Wage, a voluntary rate which is set independently and calculated in accordance to the basic cost of living in the UK, is considerably higher at £9.50, rising to £10.85 in London.

Laura Gardiner, Director, Living Wage Foundation said:

“We are delighted to recognise Community Foundation Wales as a Living Wage Funder. The leadership shown demonstrates a commitment to tackling the serious problems that low pay brings to our communities.
“Many organisations in the voluntary and community sectors are working hard to tackle social injustice and poverty; it’s only right that those committed to these roles are afforded at least a Living Wage. We hope to see many more funders and corporates follow the lead of Community Foundation Wales and the other Living Wage Funders.

“At a time when half of those in poverty live in a household where someone has a job, the real Living Wage is much needed by families across the UK. The Living Wage is a robust calculation that reflects the real cost of living, rewarding a hard day’s work with a fair day’s pay.”

Richard Williams, Chief Executive of Community Foundation Wales said:

“We believe it is more important now than ever before that we ensure the organisations we fund are paying the Living Wage to all employees rather than the minimum wage.

The Living Wage provides such a boost to the economy we know we will see better health, wellbeing and stronger communities as a result.

This has driven our decision and we are delighted to announce that we are now signed up to as a Living Wage Funder.”

John Hume, Chief Executive, People’s Health Trust, said:

“People’s Health Trust is pleased to welcome Community Foundation Wales as the latest charitable funder to join the Living Wage Funder network. By becoming part of this rapidly growing scheme, they have demonstrated their commitment, as a funder, to working towards ending low pay in the voluntary and community sector.

“We want to see the Living Wage become the norm, and believe that funding organisations can lead the way in making this happen within the voluntary sector.”

United Welsh Celebrate Living Wage Week Accreditation

Announced during the 2020 Living Wage Week, which is the annual celebration of the Living Wage movement in the UK, the Living Wage Foundation’s accreditation recognises United Welsh’s commitment to paying people fairly.

The Real Living Wage is independently-calculated each year and is based on the true cost of living for employees and their families.

Employers can choose to pay the Real Living Wage on a voluntary basis and United Welsh’s commitment means that everyone working for the organisation will receive it, regardless of whether they are direct employees or a contracted member of staff.

Lynda Sagona, Group Chief Executive of United Welsh said:

“We are delighted that United Welsh has been officially accredited as a Living Wage employer.

“For us, paying the Real Living Wage is simply the right thing to do. Our people are the most important part of the organisation and without them, we could not continue to achieve our ambitions of providing more quality homes and services that make a difference to people’s lives every day.

“United Welsh is proud to contribute to a movement which tackles poverty, inequality, and develops a more sustainable economy for communities across Wales.”

Living Wage Week 2020 was officially launched by the First Minister at an online event on Monday 9th November.

Through this accreditation, United Welsh has joined a movement of over 260 Welsh employers who choose to go beyond the legal minimum and ensure that all their staff receive a rate of pay that is based on the cost of living.

Bethan Harvey of Cynnal Cymru, the Living Wage Accrediting Body in Wales said:

“It was great to work with United Welsh on becoming a Living Wage Employer – they showed full commitment to both doing the right thing by ensuring anybody working for them earns enough to live on and also to the work involved at each stage of the accreditation process. I wish them every success on their Living Wage journey and look forward to working with them and other housing associations in the future.”

Championing the ‘Living Wage’ Movement with Flags at Cardiff Castle

Living Wage flags are flying at Cardiff Castle to mark the Council’s commitment to championing the rate of pay that is based on the actual cost of living.

The “real” Living Wage is an hourly pay rate which is set independently and updated annually. It is calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK and aims to ensure that no one should have to work for less than they can live on. This year, Wales’ rates have been announced as £9.50 per hour, an increase on last year’s rates of £9.30.

Cardiff Council became the first local authority in Wales to pay all its staff the real Living Wage in 2012 and become an accredited living wage employer in 2015. Since then Cardiff Council and its partners have been at the forefront in Wales and the UK in promoting the benefits of the real Living Wage. Last year, Cardiff became only the second city in the UK, and the first capital city, to achieve ‘Living Wage City’ status as part of the ‘Making Living Wage Places’ scheme.

As part of the scheme, a three-year action plan drawn up by a group of prominent employers in the city is currently being implemented. This included 3 key targets:

1. Increasing the number of accredited Living Wage employers from 82 in January 2019 to 150 by 2022. We are well on course with 117 accredited Living Wage employers in Cardiff. This is over 45% of the Welsh total of 258 accredited employers.

2. Increasing the total number of workers employed by Cardiff based accredited Living Wage employers from around 27,250 in January 2019 to 48,000 by 2022. With the recent accreditation of Cardiff and Vale University Health Board we have now exceeded this target with over 49,000 people working for accredited Cardiff based employers.

3. Increasing the number of workers receiving a pay rise to at least the real Living Wage from around 4,500 in January 2019 to 6,500 by 2020. We have exceeded this target with over 7,100 people receiving a pay rise as a result of their employer becoming an accredited Living Wage employer.

The Leader of Cardiff Council and Chair of Cardiff’s Living Wage City Steering Group, Cllr Huw Thomas said: “The Living Wage City approach that we have successfully adopted in Cardiff recognises and uses all the skills that the respective partners bring to the table. We have a clear vision of where we want Cardiff to be and a clear action plan to help us on that journey. Now more than ever we recognise that the real Living Wage has an important role to play in making Wales a more economically, racially and socially just nation. It is after all a wage that meets peoples everyday needs”

“I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank our Public Services Board partner, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board (UHB), for making the decision to become Wales’s first real Living Wage-accredited Health Board, particularly during such a challenging time. The Covid-19 pandemic has revealed the vital contribution that essential workers in the health and social care sectors make to our society, and such action shows real leadership and commitment to ensuring that our ‘essential’ workers earn a wage that meets their everyday needs.”

“I have heard first-hand the positive difference that the real Living Wage has made to both employers and employees. So we’ll continue to champion the Living Wage and encourage other employers to look at the difference paying the real Living Wage can make to their business, their businesses reputation and the wider city.”

The Council has a Living Wage accreditation scheme which supports small local businesses to commit to pay their own employees the Living Wage by offering financial support to those who become accredited Living Wage employers. To find out more about the scheme and the real Living Wage then please visit the Cardiff Council website.

First Minister Mark Drakeford Announces Real Living Wage Increase to £9.50 in Wales

Over 11,300 workers at 264 accredited employers in Wales are set to benefit from a vital pay boost but Living Wage Foundation research finds that 265,000 (22.4%) workers in Wales are still paid under the Real Living Wage.

Vice Chancellors of Cardiff University and Bangor University celebrate as Wales becomes first nation to achieve Living Wage ‘clean sweep’ in higher education.

Citizens Cymru Wales calls for all Careworkers to be paid the Real Living Wage as Cardiff and Vale University Health Board becomes the first in Wales to accredit as a Living Wage employer.

Over 11,300 people working for 264 real Living Wage Employers are set for a vital pay boost as the new Living Wage rate rises to £9.50 in Wales (20p increase) supporting workers and families through the pandemic. The Living Wage rates are the only rates independently calculated based on what people need to live on. Since 2011 over £41.8m in extra wages has gone to low-paid workers in Wales thanks to the Living Wage campaign, including £6.2m since the start of lockdown. Over 5,400 people in key worker industries in the Wales have benefitted from over £36.2m in extra wages since 2011.

The number of accredited Living Wage Employers in Wales has risen by 25% in the last year to 264, including Natural Resources Wales, Sport Wales, Coffi Co and Sparkles Cleaning Services. Swansea University, Cardiff Metropolitan University and Bangor University completed a Living Wage ‘clean sweep’ in higher education – completing a process begun by Cardiff University and making Wales the first nation to achieve this. Cardiff and Vale University Health Board became the first accredited Living Wage Health Board in Wales. The Welsh Local Government Association and a growing number of local councils across Wales are following the example of Cardiff Council in moving towards Living Wage accreditation.

Following recognition as the first major urban area in the UK to become a Living Wage City in November 2019, Cardiff has also achieved two of its three milestone objectives ahead of schedule and the Leader of Cardiff Council, Cllr Huw Thomas, has worked with Cynnal Cymru, the Living Wage Foundation’s Accreditation Partner in Wales, to produce a video encouraging other local councils to accredit and become ‘Living Wage Places’.

These organisations join a network of nearly 7,000 employers across the UK, including two-fifths of the FTSE 100 companies, household names like Aviva, Nationwide, Burberry, and Brewdog, as well as thousands of small businesses, who are choosing to pay the real Living Wage to ensure all staff earn a wage that meets the real cost of living, and covers everyday needs.

Research conducted by Cardiff Business School has demonstrated the significant impact of the Living Wage campaign across the UK since the start of the pandemic. Over 250,000 workers have benefitted from an additional £200 million since the start of lockdown, including 130,000 key workers. Since 2011 over £1.3bn in extra wages has gone to workers and families through the Living Wage.

The Living Wage for Wales rate is 78p per hour more than the statutory minimum wage for over 25s. A full-time worker in Wales paid the new £9.50 real Living Wage will receive over £1,500 in additional wages annually compared to the current statutory minimum wage.
The announcement comes as new research by the Living Wage Foundation has demonstrated the scale of low pay during the pandemic, with 265,000 jobs in Wales still paying less than the real Living Wage.

Citizens Cymru, the community organising alliance which leads the Living Wage campaign in Wales, is launching a campaign calling for all Careworkers in Wales to be paid the Real Living Wage.

First Minister, Mark Drakeford, said:

“Today’s announcement of a rise in the Real Living Wage to £9.50 an hour means a significant pay rise for thousands of workers in Wales, many of whom are serving our communities on the frontline during the pandemic.

“Last year in Living Wage Week I urged all public bodies in Wales to work towards Living Wage accreditation. Another eight have done so. I am particularly pleased to see Cardiff and Vale University Health Board becoming the first accredited health board in Wales – I hope to see the other NHS organisations and public bodies joining them this year. For many this will be a journey and we will be with them every step of the way.”

Rachel Ashworth, Dean of Cardiff Business School and Chair of the Living Wage for Wales Leadership Team, said:

“We are making remarkable progress towards our goal of making Wales a Living Wage economy, but almost a quarter of workers in Wales still earn a poverty wage, and that is a big problem. One area in which poverty pay is the norm is social care. We’ve all clapped for careworkers during the pandemic – over this next year we need to make sure that they are paid the Real Living Wage.”

Edel Anabwani, a Careworker from Cardiff and a Leader with Citizens Cymru Wales, said:

“Careworkers like me have heard so much in this pandemic. We’ve heard the clapping and we’ve heard people saying how vital our work is. What we haven’t heard is when careworkers like us can expect to be paid the Real Living Wage. The public think we’re worth the money, and we think that most politicians agree. Citizens Cymru Wales is launching a campaign to build a cross-party consensus to make sure careworkers get paid at least the Real Living Wage by Living Wage Week in 2021.”

Sarah Hopkins, Director of Cynnal Cymru, the Living Wage Foundation’s Accreditation Partner in Wales, said:

“Despite the challenges of the pandemic we continue to see significant growth in Living Wage accreditations in Wales – with 56 new employers signed up in the last year and 5,000 employees benefiting from a poverty-busting payrise. Only Scotland and London have a higher proportion rate of accredited employers, and we are encouraging more employers in Wales to work with us to achieve Living Wage accreditation.”

Charles Janczewski, Chair of Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, said:

“As one of the largest employers across south east Wales, we felt very strongly it was important to do the right thing and offer our staff the Living Wage. Many of our staff live in some of the most deprived communities in Wales and we know the connection between economic prosperity is one of the key determinants of good mental health. Particularly during these tough economic times it is good to put some additional money into the pockets of our lowest paid NHS staff and hopefully this will help their family budget go a little bit further each week. By offering the Living Wage it puts us in a good position to retain good staff, many of them in vital roles across the Health Board that enable us to keep services open and operational. I am pleased that we now offer all of our staff the Living Wage as of 1 April 2020.”

Professor Iwan Davies, Vice Chancellor of Bangor University, said:

“We are proud to have helped Wales complete a Living Wage clean sweep in higher education. Living Wage accreditation is important to us as a major employer in the region.”

Laura Gardiner, Living Wage Foundation Director, said:
“It’s an incredibly challenging time for us all, but today’s new Living Wage rates will give a boost to hundreds of thousands of workers in Wales, including thousands of key and essential workers like cleaners, care workers, delivery drivers, and supermarket staff, who have kept our economy going.

“Since the start of the pandemic employers have continued to sign up to a real Living Wage. During Living Wage Week it’s right that we celebrate those employers that have done right by workers and families, providing them with much needed security and stability even when times are hard. These are the employers that will allow us to recover and rebuild from this crisis.”

Living Wage Week 2020 Timetable

Living Wage Week is the annual celebration of the Living Wage movement!

If you’re wondering how you might be able to make the most of Living Wage Week -you can watch the recording from the Living Wage Foundation Webinar.  You can also download the guide.

If you’re an accredited employer you will have received your digital packs but apart from countdown material please refrain from using the graphics until the week is upon us! The Digital Pack is also now available yn Gymraeg so don’t forget to schedule your bilingual posts for the Monday morning or beyond. If you’d like some suggested tweets or ideas for celebrating on Social Media – get in touch!

We won’t be able to meet up in person this year.  However, we are still going to recreate all of the best moments from Living Wage Week events – but online!

WALES EVENTS 

Monday 9th November 8:30am – Living Wage Week Wales Launch 

An online event that will launch Living Wage Week in Wales with the First Minister announcing the new rate, celebrations of success stories from the last year and looking ahead to the 2020-21 campaign.

Monday 9th November 2:00pm – Living Wage West Wales with Burns Nutrition

Burns Pet Nutrition invite West Wales employers to join them to showcase Living Wage Champions and connect with those working on the same agenda in the region.

Monday 9th November 2:00pm – Living Wage North Wales with DEG

DEG invite you to an event that aims to strengthen the employer network in North Wales and provide the opportunity to discuss ambitions for the region. 

Thursday 12th November 10:00 – 11:55 Cynnal Cymru and WLGA Local Authorities Forum on Living Wage Accreditation and Living Wage Places 

A joint event between WLGA and Cynnal Cymru as part of Living Wage Week to bring together Heads of Procurement from Local Authorities to discuss the value of Living Wage accreditation, the benefits of becoming a Living Wage Place and bring the opportunity to have a focused discussion on barriers to accreditation and provide tailored support. 

Thursday 12th November 13:00 – 15:00 – Roundtable on Fairwork

A closed discussion chaired by Lee Waters MS to bring together Welsh Government, local governments, trade unions and the private and voluntary sectors to explore the creation of a collaborative and integrated action plan for accelerating progress on Fair Work in Wales.

If you have any questions regarding Living Wage Week in Wales or would like to get involved please contact bethan@cynnalcymru.com.

#LivingWageWeek #Wales

#WythnosCyflogByw

 

Living Wage for Key Workers Campaign #LivingWage4KeyWorkers

Living Wage for Key Workers Campaign

The COVID19 lockdown restrictions have eased and the Thursday night clapping for our key workers seems like a distant memory to many, but for those working on the Living Wage for Key Workers campaign – that energy and appreciation has continued and has been injected into their work for Living Wages.

These celebrated workers account for 33% of the Welsh workforce which equates to nearly half a million people, all of whom have bills to pay and likely families to feed. Key workers are paid less per hour than the rest of the British workforce as a UK-wide average, and this is a pay gap that has been widening for some time. Key workers have similar demographic and educational characteristics to the rest of the workforce and have proved themselves essential within our daily lives and foundational economy yet are not rewarded with a living wage for this essential and undervalued work.

It is this injustice that sparked the Living Wage for Key Workers Campaign – an official campaign lead by Citizens UK and supported by the Living Wage Foundation who invite organisations that employ key workers to be supported through the accreditation process as a Living Wage employer and therefore uplifting the pay of anyone on below the Real Living Wage within these organisations.

Who are Key Workers?

Key workers are more likely to be women or from a BAME background. 58% of key workers are women and 14% are from a BAME background (compared to 12% across whole workforce). When you look at health and social care workers 79% of that workforce are female.

Across Wales, key workers make up a larger percentage of the workforce in rural and valleys local authority areas with over 40% of the workforce in Anglesey, Blaenau Gwent and Ceredigion employed as key workers.

Who are the lowest paid Key Workers?

The lowest paid key workers are in occupations in the health, social care, food and education sectors.

The Resolution Foundation highlights that 56% of frontline care workers in Wales earn below the Real Living Wage and those in care roles within the private sector are paid less than those employed by local authorities.  However, this is not to say that there is not more to be done by local authorities on taking action on fair pay for their frontline care workers.

What can you do about it?

You can get involved with the Living Wage for Key Workers campaign in Wales by visiting the sites of Citizens Cymru or the Living Wage Foundation to download campaign material and find out more.

You can sign this petition.

You can also raise queries with your local authority or any other key worker employer that you may be involved with on working towards Living Wage accreditation – to ensure that any worker employed by these bodies is paid enough to live a life of good quality on. They can be signposted to Cynnal Cymru as the accrediting body for Wales who are available to support them through this process.

It is important that we never forget the risk taken and sacrifices made by these key workers during a time of national crisis – our gratitude is important but more important is rewarding their hard work with a fair rate of pay and calling for a Living Wage for Key Workers.

#LivingWage4KeyWorkers

*Statistics taken from Senedd Blog Research:
Characteristics of Key Workers
Key Worker Pay and Conditions

Turning Loud Claps into Living Wages

This title is taken from Doctoral researcher at Leeds University Business School Calum Carson’s article for the JESP European Social Policy Blog ‘Turning Loud Claps into Living Wages: Tackling In-work Poverty within a Post-COVID-19 Landscape.’ It well portrays the Living Wage Foundation and its supporters’ desire to turn the nation’s gratitude for key workers that have been putting themselves at considerable risk to deliver essential goods and services during lockdown, into tangible actions and results, rather than relying on gestures.

As suggested in the article, we want to make sure that this recognition of caring and essential work and the injustice of wide spread low pay in these sectors to ‘remain in the forefront of public debate.’ Read about the Living Wage Foundation’s focus on key workers.

Social Care and the Real Living Wage

Those that work in the social care sector have long been on the Living Wage Foundation’s radar. The strains of COVID-19 on the sector and key workers becoming more visible than ever has only served to highlight their hard work, often for poverty pay. We are beginning to see enquiries from care homes about becoming accredited employers including an accreditation this month from Gwyddfor Residential. They have already proved to be active supporters of the Living Wage and care workers rights on social media and in their actions, and we hope that other care homes and establishments will be able to follow suit.

This petition for a Real Living Wage for key workers is an opportunity to go a step further than clapping and work towards meaningful rewards. You can also write to your MP to demand a Living Wage for care workers.

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