The first step to moving towards a Living Wage for Wales is becoming an accredited employer and ensuring that your organisation pays staff enough to live on. We presume if you’re here, you’ve already covered this step but if not you can find out about the process and get started.
If you’re not quite there yet, you might want to understand the difference between the Real Living Wage and National Living Wage following the recent announcement on the National Living Wage and ahead of the new Real Living Wage rate being announced on November 15th at the start of Living Wage Week (we understand it can get confusing).
1. Display Your Logo!
Accredited employers have access to the Living Wage logo which marks a responsible employer – paying the Real Living Wage.
You can display this with pride at your workplace using the stickers and plaque you were sent on accreditation or get creative like Cardiff Council did – working with us to source a logo big enough to brand the sides of their waste disposal vehicles or to fly on flags on the walls of Cardiff Castle.
There’s also a Living Wage window competition currently running up until Living Wage Week, where you can share your business and window display on social media and be in with the chance of winning a window pack.
2. Communicate during Living Wage Week and Keep Talking about it afterwards!
Raising awareness through public spaces and also internally within your organisation is a great place to start.
The Living Wage Foundation has a great range of Living Wage merchandise and it’s a great way to let the people you work with know about your Living Wage commitment. It might even spark up a conversation on what it means. The same could happen on Zoom calls when you’re sipping tea from your Living Wage mug or using a Living Wage-branded Zoom background.
To peers: Word-of-mouth remains one of the most effective tools. A recommendation goes a long way, so do mention your Living Wage commitment to your peers or people you work with. We’re more than happy to be introduced to anyone who would like more information on what accreditation involves.
On social media: For those of you with active social media accounts, we have plenty of materials you can download or get in touch if you’d like to collaborate on something bigger. There are English and Welsh language Digital Packs available with lots of graphics that you can post in the lead-up to and during Living Wage Week to show your support and commitment, and make the discussion around earning enough to live on even louder!
In the news or on podcasts: If your organisation has been invited to feature in the press or a podcast, it could be the perfect opportunity to spread the message about the importance of the Living Wage. We also get requests from the media to speak to Living Wage Employers directly, for example this BBC feature on Living Wage Employer Rosslyn Coffee. If this is something you’d be interested in doing more of, please do get in touch.
It’s great to talk about accreditation and all of it’s business benefits but it is also important to talk about the need for a Living Wage . For this, it’s great to keep up-to-date with our research and understand why working families need to earn a rate that covers the cost of living and the social and health benefits too. For example, 1 in 5 workers in Cardiff earn below the Real Living Wage.
3. Make it Eventful
Take a look at our calendar of events for Living Wage Week and see if you could represent your organisation or industry at any of them.
Talking about industries – perhaps take a look at your own personal events calendar and if you’re planning to attend or host any industry events, this could be a perfect opportunity to bring up the Living Wage with others in the industry and grow awareness and appetite for accreditation.
If you’re speaking at any of these events, perhaps it could be an opportunity to talk about why the Living Wage was a decision you prioritised and invite others to sign up. We have lots of organisations in Wales willing and able to do this and we’d love to be able to add more to the list!
Equally, you might have a stall where you could display the Living Wage logo or leaflets to raise awareness at in-person events. For all the above ideas, you can also get in touch with the Accreditation team in Wales to see if we can speak at or attend the event.
4. Integrate the Real Living Wage into Supply Chains
With our accredited employers, we encourage them to use their accreditation status to influence decisions made on whether or not the Real Living Wage is paid as far along as possible down the supply chain. It can be as simple as using it as an incentive to gain work, or, wherever possible, only interacting with other organisations that pay a Real Living Wage and/or are accredited.
Patrick Langmaid, owner of Mother Ivey’s Bay Holiday Park, a Living Wage Employer in Cornwall, once said to caravan manufacturers that he would buy from the first manufacturer to become Living Wage accredited, a decision which saw ABI Holiday Homes accredit with the Living Wage Foundation, sealing the deal with Mother Ivey’s Holiday Park for 25 caravans worth £600,000 for Mother Ivey’s. Often becoming a Living Wage Employer is a decision businesses say pays for itself, and this is a clear example of that.
5. Look Locally!
We know local action can bring about real change. The Living Wage Places initiative has meant numerous employers in specific areas across the UK have formed local action groups that have committed themselves to growing the number of Living Wage Employers in a given area.
We have also been collecting these Welsh case studies as part of our 20th anniversary celebrations. Please take a look at what accreditation means to employers and workers across Wales.
Please do get in touch if you’d like more information on where there is Living Wage Places activity and how you can get something started in your locality.
Equally, by using the online map you’ll see the local employers you can connect with. A great example of a business that has taken pushing the Living Wage forward in their local area even before Living Wage Places was established is Boo Consulting, who every year have held several business breakfasts in Bolton, inviting their neighbouring businesses to learn about the Living Wage.