Making Bristol a Living Wage City
Press release issued: 14 January 2020
A coalition of employers in Bristol, including the University of Bristol, has been formally recognised by the Living Wage Foundation for their work to make Bristol a Living Wage City, the largest city in the UK to achieve this new status.
The alliance of employers, the ‘Bristol Living Wage Action Group’, aims to more than double the number of accredited Living Wage employers by 2023, ensuring that over 40,000 staff are paid the real living wage of £9.30.
The real Living Wage is an hourly rate of pay calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK and updated annually. The campaign was set up by the Living Wage Foundation and is separate from the UK government’s National Minimum Wage, with employers choosing to pay the real Living Wage on a voluntary basis.
According to the Living Wage Foundation, since 2001 the campaign has impacted over 200,000 employees and delivered over £1 billion extra to some of the lowest paid workers in the UK.
The Action Group’s three-year action plan aims to:
- encourage Bristol employers large and small to become accredited Living Wage employers
- target areas where low pay is most common, such as hospitality, retail and tourism.
- double the number of accredited Living Wage employers in Bristol over the next 3 years.
There are currently 165 accredited Living Wage employers in Bristol, with almost 20,000 employees working for Living Wage Employers.
Rob Logan, Director of Procurement at the University of Bristol, said: “The University of Bristol is committed to paying the real Living Wage, and supporting the Bristol Living Wage City initiative. Paying the real Living Wage is an ethical choice, an investment in people and a contribution to the economic and social well-being of the city. We encourage all employers to sign up.”
Katherine Chapman, Director of the Living Wage Foundation, said: “It’s great to see employers in Bristol come together to tackle in-work poverty. This is an ambitious plan to substantially increase Living Wage jobs in the city, and ultimately, to make Bristol a Living Wage City. We know the transformative effect the real Living Wage has on workers and their families. The leadership shown by Bristol’s employers is an example for others to follow.”
Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, said “Bristol needs to be a city that rewards our citizens fairly for a hard day’s work, where paying the real Living Wage should be the benchmark, not the aspiration.
“Bristol City Council led by example in becoming a Living Wage employer. Then, working with Unions, Business and organisations from all sectors and taking a One City Approach, we developed a plan that will see us increase wages for thousands more people across the city. Now we need the city’s support to make this a reality. I’d encourage all employers to get involved and do their bit – not only is it great for employees, we know it’s also good for business and the whole city.”