Living Wage

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

Living Wage Week 2021 in Wales: 15 – 21 November 2021

Please find below a list of events happening throughout Living Wage Week:

Wales Launch Event

Monday 15th November – 08:30am (Online)

Join Living Wage Wales for the annual national launch event in Wales. Share the year’s successes and celebrate the wonderful Living Wage Employer network throughout Wales.

We’ll be releasing a detailed agenda shortly but it will include The First Minister, Rt Hon Mark Drakeford MS announcing the new rate, employer and employee stories, a focus on public bodies and accreditation and much much more!

Register your place >>


West Wales Launch Event

Monday 15th November – 11:00am-12:00am (online)

Whether you’re already a Living Wage employer or are interested in becoming one, we invite you to join the Living Wage Wales team and Burns Pet Nutrition to celebrate our most recent accreditations in the region.

With the accreditation of Dyfed Powys Police Force and Commissioner’s Office, a major anchor institution in the region, there is now a great opportunity to develop a Living Wage movement across West Wales.

Burns Pet Nutrition, an accredited local business, has long been a champion of the real Living Wage and Fair Work, and with many new large and small organisations coming on board, this online event will celebrate the work of accredited employers in the region and discuss the benefits of accreditation to workers, businesses and the local economy.

Register your place >>


North Wales Launch Event (online)

Monday 15th November- 2:00pm -3:00pm

Join the hosts (tbc) in North Wales as they welcome back accredited employers in North Wales for their regional launch of the week’s celebrations.

Register your place >>


UK-wide Event: The Living Wage, What is it and why does it matter?

Monday 15th November- 4:00pm -5:00pm

This webinar is for employers from any sector who want to learn more about the real Living Wage. We will be covering how the rates are calculated, how accreditation works, and what it could mean for your organisation, your staff and your local community. 

We will be welcoming a diverse panel of speakers from across the private, public and third sectors, alongside representatives from the TUC and the Resolution Foundation, to bust some myths about the Living Wage, provide you with a space to ask questions, and to support you on your journey towards becoming part of the Living Wage movement.

Register to attend


Social Media Focus: Cardiff Hospitality

Tuesday November 16th

In 2019, Cardiff began its journey to make it a Living Wage City. Our day of social media posts under this focus, will cover progress towards the Cardiff goals and look at the benefits and challenges of living wage accreditation to businesses, employees and the local economy.

With increasing momentum in hospitality accreditations in Cardiff, we will hear more from employers about the reasons for accrediting and how supporting living wages and fair work in the Cardiff hospitality industry will be a priority as Cardiff looks forward to the next phase of its Living Wage City journey.

E-mail LivingWage@cynnalcymru.com to get involved.


Public Bodies: Action Planning for Accreditation

Thursday November 18th (Time tbc)

Join the accreditation team and special public body guests for or an in-depth discussion on the accreditation process and the necessary action planning.

E-mail LivingWage@cynnalcymru.com to register your Interest.


The real Living Wage is based on the cost of living and voluntarily paid by hundreds of employers in Wales, and thousands of employers across the UK.

Cynnal Cymru works in partnership with the Living Wage Foundation and other leading organisations in Wales to support employers with accreditation and work towards achieving the Living Wage for all workers in Wales.

You can find out more about the Living Wage in Wales by visiting www.livingwage.wales

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 Millennium Centre is Wales’ 300th Living Wage Employer!

This is a welcome milestone for the movement in Wales and sees another anchor institution within Cardiff making their public commitment and further driving the capital’s Living Wage City ambitions.

Employers choose to pay the Real Living Wage on a voluntary basis and it differs from the National Living Wage in that it is independently calculated based on the true cost of living for employees and their families. NLW has recently gone up to £8.91 and included anybody over 23 but the Real Living Wage remains the only rate to truly be enough to live on and includes anybody over the age of 18.

The commitment by Wales Millennium Centre means that everyone working for the organisation receives the Real Living Wage, regardless of whether they are directly employed or a regularly contracted member of staff. They have been paying this rate since 2019 but by becoming accredited they are publicly committing to adhering to annual recalculations and promoting Living Wage Principles on-site and within the community.

“Although we have been paying the Real Living Wage since 1 April 2019 we are very proud to become accredited as a real Living Wage employer. Through accreditation, we are making our commitment to the annual increase in the real Living Wage and will be promoting the real Living Wage to our on-site contractors and in our community. We are delighted to be joining a network of other employers that believe in a wage that meets everyday needs.”

Sian Ropaigealach, HR Project Manager, Wales Millennium Centre

“We would like to acknowledge and give thanks to those at Wales Millennium Centre who put in the work to make this happen. We look forward to working with WMC as members of our network and key employer in making Cardiff a Living Wage City. We hope that this accreditation will inspire other employers in the arts and in other sectors in Wales to look into accreditation and the benefits this has for employees and the organisation”

Sarah Hopkins Director Cynnal Cymru, Accrediting body in Wales

“We are delighted to celebrate the accreditation of Wales Millennium Centre as the 300th Living Wage employer in Wales – it has been a long drama, but it gets a standing ovation from us!  Five years ago young people in Butetown and Grangetown like me identified a lack of representation of people who looked like us in the workforce of major organisations in Cardiff Bay.  We asked employers, like Wales Millennium Centre, to sign the ‘Community Jobs Compact’ – committing them to fair recruitment through name-blind and address-blind recruitment processes; to fair career development opportunities through stable contracts and mentoring; and to fair wages, by accrediting as a Living Wage employer.  In Mathew Milsom, Managing Director of Wales Millennium Centre, we found an ally who quickly ensured fair recruitment processes and fair career development opportunities – and has now completed all aspects of the Community Jobs Compact.  Local people of all backgrounds should know that if they apply for a job at Wales Millennium Centre, they will get a fair shot at the role, good development opportunities, and the Real Living Wage of £9.50 an hour.  We call on other Cardiff employers to follow their example and build back better out of Covid by accrediting as a Living Wage employer and signing the Community Jobs Compact.”

Nirushan Sudarsan, a leader from Cardiff Citizens

Cardiff’s Living Wage City Ambitions

Cardiff has ambitions to become a ‘Living Wage City’. A group of prominent Cardiff employers joined forces to form the Cardiff Living Wage Action Group and in 2019 launched their 3-year action plan to begin ‘Making Cardiff a Living Wage City’.

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 125 Cardiff Living Wage employers signed up to the scheme including Cardiff Council, Cardiff University, Cardiff Metropolitan University, University of South Wales, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, Capital Law, Knox and Wells, Wales and West Housing, Welsh Government, Cardiff and Vale Credit Union, and most recently Ffilm Cymru.

Councillor Huw Thomas, Leader of Cardiff Council said:

“Wales Millennium Centre is an instantly recognisable sight in the capital city and how fitting that an organisation based in such an iconic landmark should become Wales’ 300th Living Wage employer.

 “The Living Wage City Steering Group, the Council-led forum which drives the Living Wage agenda in Cardiff, has been working with WMC for some time to achieve this and we are thrilled to have them on board, joining more than 125 other accredited Living Wage employers in the city.

“As we focus on our economy reopening and the city recovering from the impact of the past year, we’re keen for that number to keep growing and can help organisations to become accredited via our Living Wage Accreditation Support Scheme for SMEs. We encourage employers to find out about the difference accreditation can make to their business and their business’s reputation by visiting www.cardiff.gov.uk/LivingWage


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.

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