Living Wage

WCVA becomes an accredited Living Wage Employer!

[:en]Cynnal Cymru and the Living Wage Foundation is pleased to announce that WCVA has today accredited as a Living Wage employer.

Their Living Wage commitment will see everyone working at WCVA (Wales Council for Voluntary Action), regardless of whether they are direct employees or third-party contracted staff; receive a minimum hourly wage of £8.45 in the UK or £9.75 in London. Both of these rates are significantly higher than the statutory minimum for over 25s of £7.50 per hour introduced in April 2017. The real Living Wage is an hourly rate set independently and updated annually. The Living Wage is calculated according to the real costs of living.

 

Ruth Marks, Chief Executive, WCVA said: “WCVA has a range of progressive and inclusive working practices.  Our reward and recognition policy values all our staff and the opportunity to demonstrate this by becoming a Living Wage employer is really important to us.

“Many charities in Wales support people through issues connected with ‘in work poverty’ and wider social challenges including health, mental health, transport, housing and digital inclusion. In our view the living wage is a positive movement for society and particularly our members and the organisations we support in the third sector.”

Employers choose to pay the real Living Wage on a voluntary basis. The Living Wage enjoys cross-party political support.

 

Katherine Chapman, Director, Living Wage Foundation said: “We welcome WCVA to the Living Wage movement as an accredited employer.

“Responsible businesses across the UK are voluntarily signing up to pay the real Living Wage now. The real Living Wage rate is annually calculated to reflect the real costs of living.”

“We are a movement of over 3000 UK employers who together want to go further than the government minimum to make sure all their staff earn enough to live on. We have lots of small businesses as well as big household names like; IKEA, Aviva, Chelsea and Everton Football Clubs and many more.

These businesses recognise that the Living Wage accreditation is the mark of a responsible employer and they, like WCVA, join us because they too believe that a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay.”

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Darwin Gray becomes first Welsh Law firm to achieve Living Wage Accreditation

[:en]Darwin Gray is the first Welsh law firm to be accredited as a Living Wage employer by The Living Wage Foundation.

Their Living Wage commitment will see everyone working at Darwin Gray, regardless of whether they are direct employees or third-party contracted staff; receive a minimum hourly wage of £8.45. Significantly higher rates than the statutory minimum for over 25s of £7.50 per hour introduced in April 2017.

The real Living Wage is an hourly rate set independently and updated annually. The Living Wage is calculated according to the real costs of living.

Fflur Jones, Partner and Head of Employment and HR at Darwin Gray, said, “We are delighted to have received our Living Wage accreditation to recognise Darwin Gray’s commitment to our employees, and very proud to be the first Welsh law firm to do so”

Katherine Chapman, Director, Living Wage Foundation said: “We welcome Darwin Gray to the Living Wage movement as an accredited employer. Responsible businesses across the UK are voluntarily signing up to pay the real Living Wage now. The real Living Wage rate is annually calculated to reflect the real costs of living. We are a movement of over 3000 UK employers who together want to go further than the government minimum to make sure all their staff earn enough to live on. We have lots of small businesses as well as big household names like; IKEA, Aviva, Chelsea and Everton Football Clubs and many more.”[:]

Innovation Shorts | Brecon Carreg aims to be Carbon Neutral by 2020

[:en]Brecon Carreg is natural Welsh mineral water from the Brecon Beacons National Park. The company understands that to secure their position as a leader, that sustainability credentials are important and therefore have developed ambitious sustainability targets for 2020. Their focus on sustainability has meant that Brecon Carreg has received accreditation by the Ethical Company Organisation for the second year running, placing them in the top five UK ethical bottles water brands.

Brecon Carreg are focused on three areas – protecting nature, minimising their carbon footprint and supporting people and society which are connected to the three pillars of sustainability, environmental, social and cultural sustainability.

 

Nature

Brecon Carreg water is sourced from two sources and two springs in the Brecon Beacons National Park. Allowing wildlife to flourish, Brecon Carreg safeguards the natural resources to guarantee pure mineral water today and for future generations. In co-operation with the local authorities and national park administration, Brecon Carreg are putting in place protection and prevention action to sustainable protect the sources and the catchment are to prevent any risk of pollution.  Their most recent environmental project is a first in UK. Working with BeeOdiversity they will use the ecosystem of the bees to measure the quality of the environment and biodiversity making recommendations for the future. Two bee hives (around 50,000 bees) have been installed and resident Brecon Carreg beekeeper, Bill will ensure that they are disease free so they can lead a happy life and continue pollinating. Samples across an area of approximately 700 hectares will be collected via the bees and the goal is to assess and improve the biodiversity within the area.

breconwater-advert

 

Reducing their Carbon Footprint

Brecon Carreg aim to be carbon neutral by 2020. Through the comprehensive analysis of the life cycle, they have identified the aspects that contribute significantly to their carbon footprint and are working to reduce those areas. Green energy is used to power their sites and over the last ten years, Brecon Carreg have reduced the amount of energy used to produce one litre of bottled water by 34%. All of the plastic bottles are 100% recyclable and they continue to light weight their packaging. Initiatives such as palletising their bottles more effectively and a new IT system means they have been able to reduce the number of delivery vehicle journeys made every year. Measures are also being taken to reduce their carbon footprint through new drainage and purification system being installed to process the water. Spadel achieved their target to reduce the carbon footprint by 20% between 2010 and 2015 (15% measures internally and 5% carbon offsetting). Brecon Carreg has received the “CO2 Neutral” label for its neutrality on scope 1 and 2 (electricity, gas and fleet). The target for 2020 aims to achieve the full carbon emissions neutrality for scope 1, 2 and 3 (which includes water and all travel).

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People and Society

As a socially responsible company, Brecon Carreg take into account the social dimension of their activities.  Brecon Carreg is an accredited Living Wage employer and aim to build an organisation where employees enjoy work and are constantly encouraged and stimulated to improve their performance. Brecon Carreg gained 87% in the last People Performance survey Index and supports employees journey towards a healthier lifestyle through subsidised gym membership, a Bike2Work scheme and complimentary entry to running events.

Living Wage

Based in the Brecon Beacons National Park, Brecon Carreg are proud of their Welsh heritage. Throughout the year they hosted open days to build relationships with local authorities and communities. The organisation supports key campaigns such as #RunRecyle with Recycle for Wales and work with Public Health Wales on the #QuenchYourThirst campaign.[:]

The Living Wage Foundation are hiring!

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The Living Wage Foundation are looking for two new members to join their team – a Communications Officer and a Programme Manager. Please see the attached job descriptions for fulls details and requirements.

 

PROGRAMME MANAGER – DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS 15TH MAY – MIDDAY.

The Living Wage Foundation has an exciting opportunity to join their dynamic team as a Programme Manager. They are looking for a highly motivated and organised individual with the ability to build relationships with employers to grow the Living Wage network, to develop projects that will grow our accreditations schemes and proactively influence change.

  • Build and manage relationships with employers to support them to pay the real Living Wage and seek accreditation.
  • Create, develop and employ the tools and knowledge available to inform and advise employers on implementing the Living Wage throughout their organisation.
  • Communicate evidence for change to influence key stakeholders to become Living Wage employers, recognised Service Providers or Friendly Funders and to champion the Living Wage to their networks.
  • Monitor and evaluate the impact of our work to refine our strategy and deliver projects in an efficient way.

Please see full job description and personal specification here.

 

COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER – DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS 15TH MAY – MIDDAY.

The Living Wage Foundation are also looking for an exceptionally motivated and organised individual who enjoys working in a fast-paced, high profile communications environment.

The role will involve developing, drafting and updating content for our website, newsletters, press and social media channels. The position would suit an applicant with strong digital communication skills, marketing experience and enthusiasm for engaging supporters through social networks.

Please see full job description and personal specification here.

 

 

APPLICATION PROCEDURE

Method: Send CV and covering letter

Submit to: accreditation@livingwage.org.uk

Please note: The subject heading of the email must contain the applicants name and the job title.

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Supporting Cardiff employers to pay the Living Wage

The City Council is encouraging employers to sign up to pay the Living Wage to help Cardiff gain recognition as Living Wage city.

As a Living Wage employer itself, the authority believes that paying the Living Wage is a key indicator of an employer’s commitment to fair work practices and aims to support local businesses and organisations to commit to pay their own employees the Living Wage.

The Council has launched a scheme offering financial support to organisations who become accredited Living Wage employers over the next 12 months so the authority can work with them towards becoming a Living Wage City.

Grants of up to £720 are available for both private and public sector employers as well as charities who are based in Cardiff and gain accreditation between April 1, 2017 and March 31, 2018. The level of assistance available depends on the nature of the organisation and the number of employees there, up to a maximum of 250 people.

Former Leader of the City of Cardiff Council, Cllr Phil Bale, said:

“The City Council led the way when it became the first local authority in Wales to pay the Living Wage in 2012 and now we want to lead Cardiff to become a Living Wage City.

“There are an increasing number of employers in Cardiff who recognise the benefits to their business of paying the ‘real’ Living Wage, over and above the mandatory National Living Wage set by the UK Government.

“As part of our own Living Wage accreditation, we have committed to working closely with businesses in the city to encourage them also to pay the Living Wage and £50,000 is now available to support businesses who gain their own accreditation.

“We want to make sure that no no-one should have to do a day’s work for less than they can live on and even those on the lowest pay can cover their basic needs.

“To all those organisations that already pay all of their staff the ‘real’ Living Wage, then I’d like to thank them for their support. Together we are making good progress towards Cardiff becoming a Living Wage City.”

Jonathan Cox, Lead Organiser of Cardiff Citizens, the organisation that runs the Living Wage campaign, said:

“Over the past four years, the City of Cardiff Council has taken a series of bold decisions to attack low pay – firstly introducing the real Living Wage to their in-house staff, then extending it to contractors, then encouraging their suppliers to adopt it.

“Now they are making a big pitch to encourage other local employers to follow their lead and accredit as Living Wage employers. We hope that as many employers in Cardiff take advantage of the Council’s new scheme and work with us to make our capital the first Living Wage City in the UK.”

The support scheme is offered on a one-off, first-come-first-served basis. Terms and conditions apply. Interested employers should apply for Living Wage accreditation and send the City Council a copy of their license agreement. The Council’s Commissioning & Procurement Team will then confirm the level of assistance an employer can claim.

For more information please contact Corporate.Procurement@cardiff.gov.uk

More information is also available on the City of Cardiff Council website and the Living Wage Foundation website.

Launch of the Community Jobs Compact

[:en]On Tuesday morning, Cynnal Cymru in partnership with Citizens Wales and Ikea hosted the launch of the Bay’s Community Jobs Compact. The event brought together large and small businesses from across Cardiff to discuss ethical recruitment and employment practices with members of the community in Butetown, Grangetown and Riverside.

The event provided an opportunity for the three themes of low pay, under-representation in the workplace and job security to be highlighted with the aim to encourage employers to improve employment opportunities for local people. The local Assembly Member for Cardiff South and Penarth and previously a councillor for Butetown, AM Vaughan Gething spoke about the importance of the Living Wage and fair recruitment.

Members of the community and employers then shared why tackling these issues are good for people but also good for business. Ralph, a member of staff from Ikea spoke about the difference being paid the real Living Wage has made to his family, and Sarah Drew from ITV Wales shared the reasons why ITV Wales became the first UK broadcaster to become accredited Living Wage employers and the important of valuing their staff.

Abir Islan from Grangetown shared his experience of struggling to find work in Cardiff, despite a First Class Honours degree and supported the introduction of unconscious bias training for employers. Ikea shared their way of tackling under-representation in the workplace through ensuring all people from the local area are given the opportunity for an interview and their targets for greater representation across the organisation as well as their commitment to permanent jobs and the Living Wage.

Barhoom Alshiekmid from Butetown shared his story of applying for work in Cardiff with little success despite a 2.1 degree in Software Engineering and therefore has ended up working abroad. Barhoom believes his name, appearance and religion is preventing him getting an interview and this urgently needs to change. Richard Lomox, a Director from KPMG in Cardiff shared the ethical recruitment practices with staff receiving unconscious bias training and name blind CV’s for shortlisting with the aim to provide equal opportunities to all.

It was an insightful and inspiring event being able to hear about the experiences of local people with regards to recruitment and employment in Cardiff. A number of local employers have committed to working with Citizens UK and Cynnal Cymru to tackle these issues and have signed the Community Jobs Compact, committing to a Living Wage, fairer recruitment practices and permanent jobs for their employees. We hope this movement will continue to grow to improve opportunities for local people.

View the Twitter Moment here – https://twitter.com/i/moments/836577623677497345

If you are interested in finding out more about the Community Jobs Compact – please email Ali.Abdi@citizenswales.org.uk[:]

Carwyn Jones announces new Living Wage rate for Wales

The real Living Wage has been set at £8.45 per hour. The rate is independently calculated based on what people need to meet their basic everyday needs.

This is an increase of 2.4% on the 2015 rate and 17% higher than the government minimum for over 25s of £7.20 per hour.

The Living Wage campaign has helped to close the cost of living gap for more than 120,000 low-paid workers across the UK. The number of Living Wage accredited employers in Wales has grown by more than a third in the last year. 79 employers now voluntarily pay the real Living Wage in Wales, including Brecon Careg Mineral Water, Cardiff University and the Welsh National Assembly.

The First Minister announced the new rate this morning (31st October) at an event hosted by Citizens Cymru Wales in Cardiff Castle. Citizens Cymru Wales showcased the new ‘Living Wage for Wales’ brand and the campaign to make Wales a Living Wage economy within the next 5 years.

Cynnal Cymru was announced as the Living Wage Foundation’s local accreditation partner to support employers joining the movement in Wales. Events in Wales will be held throughout the week, including an ascent of Pen-y-Fan.

Carwyn Jones announced the new UK Rate in Cardiff Castle, saying:

“My vision for Wales is for a strong, fair economy delivering more and better jobs. I am proud that we have record levels of employment in Wales, while there has been great progress in the number of employers across the private and public sectors adopting the Living Wage.

“At its heart, the Living Wage is all about a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay. The Living Wage allows people to improve their situation and enjoy their lives. But it also makes sound business sense – it boosts morale, improves productivity, innovation and, ultimately, staff retention.”

FITM8, a personal training company in Barry, has also been chosen as the winner of the Living Wage Champion Award 2016 for Wales. The Living Wage Foundation organise these awards to recognise the life changing impact employers have made within communities by leading the way on paying and promoting the Living Wage.

Carlmichael Reardon-James, Founder and Director of FITM8, said:

“FITM8 has always been a community focused business, with the individual at the very heart of what we do. We believe as a small business that ensuring our team are paid a comfortable Living Wage has a direct effect on morale; happy team members means happy clients. Being recognised as a Living Wage Champion for Wales reiterates our commitment to bringing awareness of the positive effect the Living Wage has on businesses and organisations.”

Danielle Whitburn, a Farm Shop Assistant for Burns Pet Nutrition and Living Wage employee in Kidwelly, said:

“Earning the Living Wage makes you feel like you are a valued employee who is appreciated for the work you do. I can relax more knowing I don’t have to worry about bills and put more energy into my job. Having a large family and four children, the Living Wage has ensured I can give my children a little extra as there isn’t a constant worry about bills.”

Mari Arthur, Director of Cynnal Cymru said:

“We are excited to be working in partnership with Citizens UK Cymru and the Living Wage Foundation. Currently we have almost 80 Living Wage employers in Wales, an increase of more than a third since last year. It is central to Cynnal Cymru’s vision of developing a sustainable Wales, ensuring that the private, public and third sector undertake responsible business and support their employees through providing a real Living Wage. Cynnal Cymru have been a Living Wage employer for three years and can’t wait to encourage others to take this step towards a fairer society.”

Living Wage Foundation Director, Katherine Chapman said:

“Many thanks to Carwyn Jones for showing his support for the Living Wage in Wales, and congratulations to FITM8 on winning the 2016 Wales Living Wage Champion Award. The number of Welsh employers paying a real Living Wage has increased by more than a third this year and we are really excited to be working in partnership with Cynnal Cymru to encourage even more employers to sign up. We want to celebrate those organisations making a real difference to families and communities by paying a real Living Wage that meets the cost of living. More employees than ever in Wales and over 120,000 employees across the UK now earn a real Living Wage.”

The Living Wage is an hourly rate set independently and re-calculated annually based on what people need to meet their basic everyday needs. Nearly 3,000 employers voluntarily choose to pay this wage, currently set at £8:45, and £9:75 in London to reflect the higher cost of living.  It is not to be confused with the ‘national living wage’ set by the UK Government.

Events in Wales for Living Wage Week

Sunday (30th): Living Wage ascent of Snowdon to mark the start of Living Wage Week: The climb will start at the Lyn Gwynant campsite at the foot of Snowdon which is an accredited Living Wage organisation, in an area where low pay is widespread.

Monday 31st from 8.45am: Carwyn Jones announces the Wales Living Wage rate at Cardiff Castle (Castle St, Cardiff CF10 3RB) to mark the start of Living Wage Week

Thursday 3rd from 4 pm: Leaders from Citizens Cymru Wales will visit Penderyn Whisky Distillery for a tasting and to encourage the management to become an accredited Living Wage employer as part of the ‘Living Wage for Wales’ strategy to encourage 15 iconic Welsh brands to go Living Wage.

Friday 4th November from 10 am: Ascent of Pen y Fan, with Living Wage employers including Brecon Carreg – we’ll be literally flying (and planting) the flag for the Living Wage at the top of south Wales’ largest mountain – media are welcome to film and take pictures.

Living Wage Week

Living Wage week is a UK wide celebration from the 31st of October – 5th November in which Living Wage employers and their employees all over the country celebrate their role in the Living Wage movement. Living Wage employers pay all their employees and onsite contractors the real Living Wage.

For more information visit the Living Wage website

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