A Living Wage Employer

3 November 2014

Living Wage

Cardiff University is an official Living Wage employer. 

The University's application for official accreditation has been approved by The Living Wage Foundation.

Cardiff University becomes Wales's first University to be accredited as a Living Wage employer and one of only a handful of Russell Group universities outside London.

Agreeing to be a Living Wage Employer means that everyone working at Cardiff University, regardless of whether they are university employees or employed by third-party contractors and suppliers, will receive a minimum hourly wage significantly higher than the national minimum wage of £6.50.

"It is a matter of basic fairness that people should get a wage which is enough to live on," said Cardiff University's Vice-Chancellor, Professor Colin Riordan.

"That's why Cardiff University took the decision to pay all staff at least the living wage of £7.65 per hour from 1 January, 2014.

"As a result of today's announcement, the hourly wage will rise to £7.85 over the next few months.

"Securing accreditation as an official Living Wage Employer sends a clear message that we value our staff and we hope we will act as an example to other Welsh employers," he added.

The Living Wage is an hourly rate set independently and updated annually. The Living Wage is calculated according to the basic cost of living using the 'Minimum Income Standard' for the UK.

Decisions about what to include in this standard are set by the public; it is a social consensus about what people need to make ends meet.

Employers choose to pay the Living Wage on a voluntary basis.

The Living Wage campaign has been running for ten years and has lifted an estimated 45,000 people out of poverty.

Jim Barnaville, Co-Chair of Cardiff Citizens, said: "The Living Wage is going from strength to strength in Wales - and we have doubled the number of accredited Living Wage employers based here in the last year. The decision by Cardiff University to accredit shows great leadership, and we hope many other employers will follow them in the year to come."

An independent study of the business benefits of implementing a Living Wage policy in London found that more than 80 per cent of employers believe that the Living Wage had enhanced the quality of the work of their staff, while absenteeism had fallen by approximately 25 per cent.

66 per cent of employers reported a significant impact on recruitment and retention within their organisation. 70 per cent of employers felt that the Living Wage had increased consumer awareness of their organisation's commitment to being an ethical employer.

Living Wage Foundation Director, Rhys Moore said: "We are delighted to welcome Cardiff University to the Living Wage movement as an accredited employer.

"The best employers are now voluntarily signing up to pay the Living Wage. 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.

"We have accredited over 700 leading employers, including Cardiff University, ranging from independent printers, hairdressers and breweries, to well-known companies such as Nationwide, Aviva and SSE.

"These businesses recognise that clinging to the national minimum wage is not good for business. Customers expect better than that.