Living Wage Week: More Important Than Ever


"The right thing to do", "a positive impact on staff", "it's important that people who work hard are paid accordingly".


This Living Wage Week (November 6 - 12), these are just some of the thoughts of one Cardiff employer that recently joined more than 200 other organisations in the city by becoming a Living Wage employer.


Cardiff Council supported the Norwegian Church Arts Centre in Cardiff Bay to gain Living Wage employer accreditation and pay their staff the real Living Wage earlier this year.


The centre's general manager, Gareth Roberts, explains why:"We decided that it felt like the right thing to do. We're a small team here and although there was a financial impact for us as a business, that impact really paled into insignificance compared to the positive impact that it would have for our minimum wage staff.


"Hospitality can be quite a demanding industry to work in and they work hard. It just felt appropriate to pay them accordingly. It's made the staff happier."


Ren Tryner who works at the Norwegian Church Art Centre, said: "Working for a Living Wage employer is pretty great in my opinion. Obviously, it means more money and every little helps in this sort of climate."




Organisations like the Norwegian Church Arts Centre have helped Cardiff, a Living Wage City, achieve ambitious targets. There are now more than 210 accredited Living Wage employers in the city, employing in excess of 76,000 workers of whom over 13,000 have had an uplift to the real Living Wage.


The current real Living Wage rate for Wales was recently announced as £12 per hour - an

independently-set rate 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.


This Living Wage Week, Cardiff's Living Wage City Partnership has set a new target for 300 accredited Living Wage employers in Cardiff, employing 95,000 staff of whom 13,900 will see their pay uplifted to the real Living Wage by November 2025.


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.


Council Leader, Cllr Huw Thomas, Chair of Cardiff's multi-organisational Living Wage City Partnership, said: "As a Partnership we have adopted St David'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.


"Over the past year we welcomed around 30 new accredited Living Wage employers to Cardiff's Living Wage Family, they employ close to 10,000 people of whom over 1,500 people received a pay rise to the real Living Wage.


"And Cardiff University has calculated that since 2012 an additional £68 million has gone into the Cardiff economy as a result of these uplifts." 


In a major UK survey of accredited Living Wage employers by Cardiff University, 85% said accreditation has enhanced their organisation's reputation with 67% saying it has provided a competitive advantage.  Around 60% said it had helped with recruitment and retention with a similar number saying accreditation had improved staff commitment and motivation.             


Cllr Thomas added: "We are incredibly proud of this progress, which has surpassed all the targets for the year, but we want to do more and challenge organisations not yet within the Cardiff Living Wage family to consider what "Little Thing" they can do to support the real Living Wage in Cardiff over the next year?"


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