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Business benefits of the living wage

9 November 2017

Audience in Executive Education Suite

Cardiff Business School welcomed a diverse panel of speakers including a partner from a Cardiff-based commercial law firm, a Labour Councillor, a Professor of Employment Relations and the University’s Chief Operating Officer in the latest of its Executive Education Breakfast Briefing series.

The briefing, held during Living Wage Week, examined why employers choose to pay the Living Wage and the benefits, for both businesses and their employees, resulting from accreditation.

Following an introduction by Edmund Heery, Professor of Employment Relations at Cardiff Business School, the attendees heard an outline of the findings of his research conducted alongside colleagues Dr Deborah Hann and Dr David Nash.

Their report, The Living Wage Employer Experience, found employer commitment to the voluntary Living Wage is strong, and the experience of most accredited employers has been positive.

Professor Heery said: “The Living Wage is important because we have a terrible problem of low pay in the UK and particularly here in Wales, which is the lowest paying region in the UK...”

“So something needs to be done about that problem and the Living Wage is one way of tackling this.”

Professor Edmund Heery Emeritus Professor of Employment Relations

Next, Chris Weaver, Labour Councillor for Cathays, and Cardiff Council Cabinet Member for Finance, gave an overview of Cardiff City Council’s experience of Living Wage accreditation, gained in 2015.

He also shared a promotional film with attendees showcasing the work of the Council’s Commissioning and Procurement Team championing the Living Wage above and beyond accreditation.

Mr Weaver said: “The Living Wage has helped over 2,500 of our staff. It shows we value our workforce. It matters for social justice in the city and we’d encourage everyone to become a real living wage employer.”

“Doing the right thing”

The audience also heard from Damian Phillips, a partner at Darwin Gray LLP, who spoke of the pride of working for a Living Wage accredited employer.

This year, Darwin Gray LLP became Wales’ first Law firm to obtain Living Wage accreditation.

Mr Phillips said: “Being an accredited Living Wage Employer is important because we feel it’s about doing the right thing for our staff, for our contracted staff and for society as a whole.”

Cardiff University’s Chief Operating Officer, Jayne Sadgrove, closed proceedings.

As well as endorsing Cardiff Council and Darwin Gray LLP’s experiences of Living Wage accreditation, Ms Sadgrove looked forward to consider the steps that can be taken to make Wales a Living Wage Economy in her new role as Chair of the Wales Living Wage Leadership Group.

Panel at Living Wage Breakfast Briefing

The session was followed by an engaging panel discussion which considered how Wales might increase its number of Living Wage accredited employers from 117.

Miss the briefing? Catch up now.

Register now for the next Executive Education Breakfast Briefing - Everyone deserves a chance to work - on 12 December 2017.

#LivingWageWeek has seen many prominent figure weighing in on the debate for fair pay. The actor Michael Sheen is a prominent supporter. Watch him make the case for the Living Wage in Wales.

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