Living Wage Week: More Important Than Ever

Cardiff’s status as a Living Wage city has been renewed for the next three years, following confirmation from the Living Wage Foundation.

 The news comes at the start of Living Wage Week (November 14-20), the annual celebration of the real Living Wage – the only wage rate calculated based on actual living costs.

 With the cost of living rising and millions across the country struggling under the current pressures of increased energy, food and fuel costs, earning a real Living Wage has never been more important.

 Leader of Cardiff Council, Cllr Huw Thomas, told guests at a special Cardiff Living Wage City event this afternoon at Cardiff University’s Spark building, the city’s and Wales’s first Living Wage building, how doing the little things can make such a big difference to employees, their families and businesses and organisations who pay the real Living Wage.

 Cllr Thomas, Chair of Cardiff’s multi-organisational Living Wage City Partnership, said: “As a Partnership we have adopted our patron Saint’s maxim – “Do the little things”. If we all “do the little things” – collectively we can make a big difference and we can see from the progress we have made along our Living Wage journey that that is true.

 “We now have 186 accredited Living Wage employers in Cardiff, both large and small organisations from all sectors of the Cardiff economy.  In 2022, our 100th private sector organisation accredited as a Living Wage employer.

 “Around 67,500 people work for an accredited Living Wage employer and over 11,000 of those have had a pay rise to the real Living Wage, the second highest number of uplifts of any UK city just behind Edinburgh.  And Cardiff University has calculated that since 2012 almost an additional £50 million has gone into the Cardiff economy as a result of these uplifts. 

 “We are incredibly proud of this progress, which has surpassed all the targets we set three years ago, but we want to do more.

 “The cost-of-living crisis is affecting everyone, but no one is hit harder than the lowest paid workers. The real Living Wage is a lifeline for many so we want even more jobs in the city that pay the real Living Wage and are working hard to encourage more employers to become accredited as Living Wage Employers.

 “We need as many people and organisations as possible to “do the little things” to help get the message out about the benefits of paying the real Living Wage.”

 Over the next three years, Cardiff has set a new target for 300 accredited Living Wage employers in Cardiff, employing 95,000 staff of whom 13,900 have seen their pay uplifted to the real Living Wage.

 The new targets were revealed to coincide with the announcement of the new “real” Living Wage – the independently-set hourly pay rate which is updated annually and calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK. The rate aims to ensure that no-one should have to work for less than they can live on and this year, Wales’s rates have been announced as £10.90 per hour, an increase on last year’s rates of £9.90.

The Council has a Living Wage accreditation scheme which pays small local businesses accreditation fees for the first three years.

To find out more about the scheme and the real Living Wage please visit www.cardiff.gov.uk/livingwage or www.livingwage.wales