On 19th May, Cynnal Cymru attended the annual Living Wage Foundation Parliamentary Reception in the House of Commons. The purpose of this event was to hear how the real Living Wage offers a solution to in-work poverty and the economic challenges we are facing. This is now more important than ever as we face rising inflation and a soaring cost of living. The reception was also an opportunity to celebrate 20 years of the Living Wage Campaign and the huge milestone of 10,000 Living Wage Accredited Employers across the UK.
We heard from speakers across the Living Wage movement, including Living Wage Foundation Director Katherine Chapman, who spoke about the cost-of-living crisis and how those that feel it the hardest are those that earn the least. We heard from multiple Living Wage employers, including Heathrow, KPMG, Aviva, and more. Chris Smallwood, Managing Director at Anchor Removals, gave a very passionate speech on why he believes paying the real Living Wage is the right thing to do for his employees, and his business. Chris spoke about the differences he has noticed since becoming accredited back in 2016, including significantly less sickness and absences from his staff, as well as increased respect and pride for each other.
The reception also gave us the opportunity to hear directly from employees who have benefited from their workplaces gaining Living Wage accreditation. These workers spoke about the positive difference earning the real Living Wage can make on people’s lives, as well as on the businesses they work for. Sophie from Rosslyn Coffee encouraged other companies to join the 10,000+ accredited employers across the UK in helping to create a better working environment for all. In the face of this cost-of-living crisis, the work the Living Wage Foundation and Cynnal Cymru as an official accreditation partner do, has never been more relevant.
As the Living Wage Programme Officer for Cynnal Cymru, it is my role to help to grow the Living Wage Network in Wales and proactively influence change. Over the coming months we will be achieving this by working with Welsh Government on a fair work agenda, as well as continuing to accredit public, private and third sector bodies across the nation.