City’s Living Wage goals celebrated during annual Living Wage Week


On the twentieth anniversary of the Living Wage movement and during this year's annual Living Wage Week (November 15 -21), Cardiff is celebrating one of its most successful years of supporting organisations in the city to become Living Wage employers.


The Welsh capital has smashed all three key targets in a three-year plan set in 2019 when the city became only the second in the UK, and the first capital city, to achieve ‘Living Wage City' status as part of the ‘Making Living Wage Places' scheme.


A year ahead of schedule, the city has reached its target of 150 accredited Living Wage employers and surpassed the aim of increasing the total number of workers employed by Cardiff-based accredited Living Wage employers to 48,000, so that more than 61,000 people are now working for a Living Wage employer.


The target of increasing the number of workers receiving a pay rise to at least the real Living Wage to 6,500 was achieved last year and the current figure now stands at 7,900 workers.


The achievements are being celebrated 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 £9.90 per hour, an increase on last year's rates of £9.50.



Leader of Cardiff Council and Chair of Cardiff's Living Wage City Steering Group, Cllr Huw Thomas, said: "It's been quite a remarkable year making Cardiff a Living Wage City and I'm so pleased we have achieved these three key goals already, despite the difficulties and impact of the pandemic over the past year and more.


"In Cardiff, we now have more than 43% of the Welsh total of 345 accredited employers and it's been a real team effort from the steering group - the council and its partners, in achieving this."


The Council started paying all its staff the Living Wage in 2012 before becoming an accredited Living Wage employer in 2015. Ever since, the authority has been at the forefront of the movement, championing the Living Wage and providing support to become accredited employers to organisations, big and small, in the city.


In a challenging year for many sectors, a total of 32 new organisations have become accredited in 2021 - including one of the city's most famous landmarks - the iconic Wales Millennium Centre, as well as a number of charities and hospitality establishments.


Cabinet Member for Finance, Modernisation and Performance, Cllr Chris Weaver said: "The advantages of paying the Living Wage to staff go beyond the obvious benefits to the individual, as it can improve an organisation's reputation as well as increase staff motivation and retention.


"The successes of supporting more local businesses and organisations to become accredited has put an extra £39m in people's wage packets - that's extra money in the local economy, making the city a fairer, more equal place.


"We're keen to achieve more though and will continue flying the Living Wage flag and supporting organisations across the city on their own Living Wage journey so that even more people in the city get a fair day's pay for a fair day's work."


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: