Skip to main content

Celebrating twenty years of the Living Wage

10 December 2023

Cardiff Business School marked Living Wage Week 2023 with a breakfast briefing which highlighted the pivotal role Cardiff University and Cardiff as a city play in this initiative.

Opening remarks by Professor Edmund Heery

Professor Edmund Heery, who has an extensive research background on the Living Wage, chaired the event and introduced the speakers.

Address by Professor Wendy Larner, Cardiff University’s Vice-Chancellor

Professor Wendy Larner, the newly appointed Vice-Chancellor of Cardiff University, hailed the success of promoting and supporting the Living Wage within the university. Addressing the cost of living crisis affecting communities, Professor Larner highlighted the Living Wage's importance in today's society.

She celebrated Cardiff Business School’s commitment to world-class research on the Living Wage, which formed the basis of a Research Excellence Framework (REF) impact case study. She also expressed pride in the university being an active partner in Cardiff’s Living Wage City Partnership.

Insights from Dr Deborah Hann on the Living Wage Movement

Next to speak was Dr Deborah Hann who provided a background on the Living Wage movement, describing it as incredibly successful with significant impact. The data presented estimated that £3 billion has been directed towards the lowest-paid workers in the UK, benefitting 380,000 individuals across 14,000 Living Wage employers.

Dr Hann discussed Cardiff Business School's active involvement in researching the Living Wage. She explained that they have recently published a report showing the findings of a survey sent to all accredited Living Wage Employers.

Research overview on employer benefits of Living Wage accreditation by Dr David Nash

Dr David Nash gave an overview of the findings from their recent research. He delved into the employer motives behind Living Wage accreditation and how they implement paying this.

Positive impacts on employer reputation, competitive advantage, and various HR benefits were highlighted, contributing to a compelling business case for the Living Wage.

Dr Nash also talked about additional standards being launched such as Living Hours and Living Pension Schemes. He concluded by stating that their research shows that Living Wage has become a significant feature of the UK labour market.

Huw Thomas, Leader of Cardiff Council on Cardiff’s Living Wage City Partnership

Huw Thomas, Leader of Cardiff Council and chair of Cardiff’s Living Wage City Partnership, reflected on the journey so far and outlined future aspirations.

He shared how the partnership's ambitious three-year action plan resulted in Cardiff being the second UK city to achieve Living Wage City status in 2019. In Cardiff today, there are now 215 accredited Living Wage employers, employing 76,000 people.

Huw stressed the importance of ongoing efforts to encourage more employers to adopt the Living Wage. He also acknowledged the industrial action regarding pay currently occurring within the council.

He praised Cardiff University for leading by example as the first Living Wage university in Wales, with all Welsh universities now accredited as Living Wage employers. Huw also recognised the role Cardiff Business School has played, with its research and with the Public Value Leadership Academy. This has involved students taking action on community issues, including campaigning for more local employers to become Living Wage accredited.

Q&A session

The event concluded with a lively Q&A session, covering topics such as Citizens Chapters, and sub-contracting staff being covered under Living Wage accreditation.

Watch the recording of the breakfast briefing:

Read the summary of the main findings from Cardiff Business School’s report: Twenty years of the Living Wage - The Employer Experience.

Cardiff Business School's Breakfast Briefing Series is a network of events which enables business contacts to find out more about the latest research and key developments from industrial partners.

Share this story