Living Wage

Living Wage for Wales

The Living Wage for Wales is a collaborative effort to promote the benefits of Living Wage accreditation for employers, workers and the economy in Wales.

Cynnal Cymru is the Living Wage Foundation’s accreditation partner for Wales, supporting employers from the public, private and voluntary sectors with the process of accreditation. Cynnal Cymru uses its employer networks and understanding of how organisations operate to help them overcome barriers to accreditation.  Cynnal Cymru also plays an important role in promotion of the Living Wage to employers.

Citizens Cymru Wales initiated the Living Wage campaign in Wales, and leads the Living Wage for Wales campaign strategy.  As the home of community organising in Wales, its diverse member organisations across Wales set goals, identify campaign targets and train community leaders and workers to take action as part of Living Wage campaigns.

The Living Wage Foundation has dedicated staff time to support accreditation and initiatives such as Living Wage Places, and to co-ordinate marketing and communications around Living Wage Week.

We also work closely with Welsh Government and champion employers such as Cardiff Council and Cardiff University.

The Living Wage for Wales Leadership Team co-ordinates the activities of organisations working to make Wales a Living Wage Economy. 

The Living Wage for Wales website is managed by Cynnal Cymru – Sustain Wales.

You can find out more about our work and how to become accredited by visiting the Living Wage for Wales website:

www.livingwage.wales

Living Wage for Wales Read More »

What can a just and fair net zero transition look like? 

What can a just and fair net zero transition look like?

What can a just and fair net zero transition look like? It’s a topic that has been on my mind a lot since joining Cynnal Cymru in February as the Senior Programme and Policy Lead, leading our Fair Work and Living Wage team. Unsurprisingly for a charity called ‘Sustain Wales’, we’ve always been a sustainability charity first and foremost. But for a few years now, we’ve worked on developing our aims on ‘just transition’, and that has included embedding the fair work agenda outlined in the Fair Work Wales report in 2019 into our aims. That has meant working with trade unions, writing policy papers on spreading fair work principles throughout existing government programmes, and sitting on the Welsh Government’s group aimed at tackling modern slavery.  

We’re also the Living Wage Foundation’s accreditation partner for Wales, meaning we essentially host Living Wage Wales in house. Living Wage Wales has delivered over 22,000 pay rises for low-paid workers across Wales through this work, including 5,575 in 2023 alone – making a direct contribution to tackling the cost of living crisis. This fits with another key Cynnal Cymru principle – focus on action, not just words. 

This is what myself and my colleagues on the Fair Work and Living Wage team work on – but what does it have to do with sustainability? I’d say it has a huge contribution to make. We should be honest about the fact that there are vested interests who are opposed to carbon reduction and nature-positive actions, particularly at the scale we know these need to happen at. It barely needs saying, but profit motives very often run against sustainability aims. A tree can be a project stewarded by communities over hundreds of years that provides space for nature and clean air for people, or it can be a blocker to a new car park. At time of writing, it was only yesterday that we heard the UAE government plans to use COP28 to make oil deals.  

There are often efforts to protect private profit motives via leveraging the jobs business creates, to bind the inexorable destruction of the natural world to the interests of working people. In this framing, environmentalists and their causes are painted as cloistered from the demands of the real world that most people have to deal with. There’s no hiding from the fact that this can be an emotive and powerful dividing line, carving the people whose world is being worsened away from efforts to protect it. We saw in the recent Uxbridge by-election how action on emissions, in this case Ultra Low Emission Zones (ULEZ), can be utilised for political gain. 

Focus on action – not just words.

For me, then, a just and fair transition isn’t just a slogan. It is a vital tool in our efforts towards carbon reduction and nature restoration. If our sustainability efforts are questioned, we can very happily point to the work we do to ensure that people have access to fair working conditions and boosting the pay of those in the lowest-paid jobs so that they can afford to live and not just exist. Work on a fair and just transition can bind working people to the cause of sustainability – not an inconvenience for people, but an opportunity. At a legislative level in Wales, the recent Social Partnership and Public Procurement Act has amended the Well-being of Future Generations Act to include ‘fair work’, and our well-being indicators include payment of the real Living Wage and trade union membership. This binds the cause of working people even closer to the task of saving our planet. 

If we get it right, the green transition gives us the opportunity to repair many of the broken elements of our economy. It can mean high-quality, unionised, green jobs spread across communities that have seen unfair working practices and low pay proliferate. Green skills training programmes that prepare our workforce for the future can contribute to bringing an end to the gender and racial inequities we see today. And of course, it can mean the avoidance of the road to disaster our climate and natural world are currently on.

So, as we look at Wales Climate Week and COP28, let’s keep the things that are important to people – their livelihoods, incomes, and their everyday lives – at the forefront of our minds. That’s what a just and fair transition is all about. 


Harry Thompson is Cynnal Cymru’s Senior Programmes and Policy Lead. He manages the Fair Work and Living Wage team, which work towards Cynnal Cymru’s strategic goal of a fair and just society. He comes from an economic policy background, having led projects on topics such as empowering trade unions, the Welsh Government’s fiscal framework, and community empowerment.

He is also our Equality and Diversity lead.

What can a just and fair net zero transition look like?  Read More »

Job opportunity – Living Wage programme officer

If you would like to join a committed and energetic team of sustainability specialists and you are interested in learning more then please get in touch. 

Please note that we are looking for candidate with at least experienced beginner level of Welsh.

Applications close on Sunday 20 March with interviews on Wednesday 30 March.


About Cynnal Cymru – Sustain Wales

Cynnal Cymru- Sustain Wales is a non-profit organisation providing advice, training and support services to help organisations turn sustainability aims into action.

We are the official partner of the Carbon Literacy Project in Wales and the Living Wage Foundation’s accreditation partner in Wales. Our teams of sustainability specialists work to support organisations across three core programme areas: (i) low carbon economy, (ii) natural environment and (iii) fair and just society.

The Living Wage

The real Living Wage is an independently calculated hourly rate based on the cost of living and announced each November during Living Wage Week, the annual celebration of a growing network of almost 9,000 Living Wage Employers in the UK.

The Living Wage Foundation and its partners in Wales and Scotland, celebrate employers that voluntarily choose to pay the real Living Wage through an accreditation scheme that recognises a long-term commitment to fair pay and has secured pay rises for over 300,000 low paid workers.

The number of accredited Living Wage organisations across Wales is growing and Welsh Government recognise the role of the real Living Wage as part of ensuring fair work for everyone in Wales. In 2021, we launched the Living Wage for Wales website.


How to apply

Please send your application to jobs@cynnalcymru.com by midnight on Sunday 20 March, including your:

  • Cover email
  • Application form
  • Equal opportunities form

Please note we do not accept CVs. Strictly no agencies.

The online interviews will take place during the week commencing Monday 21 March 2022.

Download:

Job Description

Application Form

Equal Opportunities Form

Job opportunity – Living Wage programme officer Read More »

Thousands of Welsh Workers set for payrise as First Minister Mark Drakeford Announces New £9.90 Real Living Wage

Almost 13,000 people working for 359 real Living Wage Employers are set for a vital pay boost as the new Living Wage rate rises to £9.90 in Wales (40p 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.

The new Real Living Wage rate and the ‘National Living Wage’ – know the difference

Unlike the UK Government minimum wage (‘National Living Wage’ for over 23s – £8.91 rising to £9.50 in April 2022) the real Living Wage is the only wage rate independently calculated based on rising living costs – including fuel, energy, rent and food. A full-time worker earning the new, real Living Wage would earn £1,930 a year more than a worker earning the current government minimum (NLW). For a worker today that’s the equivalent of 7 months of food bills and more than 5 months’ rent based on average household spending in the UK. Even on next April’s higher NLW rate of £9.50, a full-time worker on the real Living Wage would earn £780 more. The increase in the Living Wage rate this year has largely been driven by rising fuel and rent costs.

This year the campaign for a real Living Wage celebrates its twentieth year across the UK and its tenth anniversary in Wales, with new research from the Cardiff Business School showing Living Wage workers have benefitted from more than £1.6bn in extra wages across the UK during this period, with one in 13 workers now working for an accredited Living Wage Employer. In Wales, over £57.2m in extra wages has gone to low-paid workers thanks to the Living Wage campaign over the last ten years.

The Living Wage movement continues to grow in Wales

The number of accredited Living Wage Employers in Wales has risen by 44% in the last year to 359, including the Wales Millennium Centre, Dyfed-Powys Police and Coaltown Coffee. Much of this progress is as a result of the work of Cynnal Cymru, the Living Wage Foundation’s Accreditation Partner in Wales, which supports employers through the process of accreditation.

Wales’ accredited Living Wage employers join a network of almost 9,000 employers across the UK, including half of the FTSE 100 companies, household names like Aviva, Everton FC, Burberry, and Lush, 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.

Citizens Cymru Wales is now focusing its campaigning efforts on Health Board, local authorities and care providers in Wales, asking them to accredit as Living Wage employers.

The First Minister will announce the news at a virtual Living Wage Week Wales Launch on Monday 15th November 08:30-09:30, hosted by Citizens Cymru Wales, Cynnal Cymru and the Living Wage for Wales Leadership Team.

“Today’s announcement of a rise in the Real Living Wage to £9.90 an hour stands to benefit thousands of workers in Wales. The challenge for us is to encourage more employers across Wales to commit to paying their workers at least the Living Wage. As part of the steps we can take to make work fairer, the Welsh Government is using the influence it has to improve levels of Living Wage adoption and accreditation. This includes leading by example as a Living Wage accredited employer, beginning the implementation of the real living wage in social care early in this Senedd term and encouraging employers in Wales to explore the benefits of the Living Wage for them as employers and for those that work for them.”

Mark Drakeford, First Minister of Wales

“We are making remarkable progress towards our goal of making Wales a Living Wage economy, but one in six workers in Wales still earn a poverty wage, and that is a big problem. We need to see more of Wales’ employers choosing to accredit with the Living Wage Foundation, especially in the public sector. This will not only lift their own staff out of in-work poverty, but also those thousands of cleaners, security guards and careworkers working for them in outsourced roles.”

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

“Careworkers like me are delighted that the Welsh Government is going to phase in the Real Living Wage from April next year. This will make a huge difference to the people who have been on the frontline of the pandemic. We’ve heard the clapping and we’ve heard people saying how vital our work is, and now we have heard that our wages will be going up.”

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

“Despite the challenges of the pandemic we continue to see significant growth in Living Wage accreditations in Wales – with 110 new employers signed up in the last year and thousands of employees benefiting from a poverty-busting payrise. If you are an employer in Wales and you want to join the Living Wage movement we can help you get accredited..”

Sarah Hopkins, Director, Cynnal Cymru

“Becoming a Living Wage Employer is something we’ve wanted to do for a while now, so we’re delighted we’ve finally been able to make that a reality. It’s a hugely important step for us to take as an organisation, to be able to recognise in a small but concrete way the tremendous value our front of house team bring to the table. They’re often the first people our visitors will have come into contact with, so they’re the face of Techniquest in many ways and play a vital role in helping bring science to life for all those who visit. Hopefully this uplift will help towards their living costs going forward and will continue to keep them ahead of the curve compared with others working in similar positions across the UK.”

Lesley Kirkpatrick, Chief Executive of Techniquest, a recently accredited Living Wage employer

“With living costs rising so rapidly, today’s new Living Wage rates will provide hundreds of thousands of workers and their families with greater security and stability. For the past 20 years the Living Wage movement has shaped the debate on low pay, showing what is possible when responsible employers step up and provide a wage that delivers dignity. Despite this, there are still millions trapped in working poverty, struggling to keep their heads above water – and these are people working in jobs that kept society going during the pandemic like social care workers and cleaners. We know that the Living Wage is good for businesses as well as workers, and as we rebuild our economy post pandemic, the real Living Wage must be at its heart.”

Katherine Chapman, Living Wage Foundation Director

Thousands of Welsh Workers set for payrise as First Minister Mark Drakeford Announces New £9.90 Real Living Wage Read More »

Wales’ First Living Wage Building – Launch Event

The accreditation as a Living Wage Building means all tenants will be obliged to pay at least the real Living Wage to employees and onsite contractors.

Join Cynnal Cymru, Councillor Huw Thomas (Leader of Cardiff Council) , Professor Rachel Ashworth (Dean of Cardiff Business School and Living Wage Commissioner) and Professor Chris Taylor (Academic Director, SPARK) to celebrate this important milestone for Wales and how this accreditation will support progress towards making Cardiff a Living Wage City.

There will also be an opportunity to find out more about Living Wage Places and their potential role in making Wales a Fair Work nation.

The duration of the webinar will be an hour and the invitation is open to anyone with an interest in attending, so if you’d like to receive a registration link please contact bethan@cynnalcymru.com 

Wales’ First Living Wage Building – Launch Event Read More »

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 in Cardiff on St. David’s Day Read More »

Making Cardiff a Living Wage City

The Action Plan includes:
• Increasing the number of accredited Living Wage employers to 150 by 2022.
• Increasing the number of people working for accredited Living Wage employers to 48,000 by 2022.
• Encouraging major employers, iconic employers and ‘anchor’ organisations in Cardiff to become accredited Living Wage employers.
• Supporting small businesses to accredit through the Council’s Living Wage Accreditation Support Scheme.

There are already over 100 Cardiff Living Wage employers signed to the scheme.

If you are an accredited Living Wage employer in Cardiff please consider joining our LinkedIn group to build a community of fair pay employers in the city. Your primary contact for accreditation will shortly receive an e-mail inviting the organisation to join.

If you a Cardiff-based organisation that has not yet accredited and would like to do so please get in touch, we are at hand to support you through all stages of accreditation and Cardiff Council’s support scheme offers a reimbursement of fees up to the value of £720 if you accredit before March 2021. 

Cardiff Council Living Wage Accreditation Support Scheme

Making Cardiff a Living Wage City Read More »

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