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Urdd becomes 500th real Living Wage employer in Wales

14 Jul 2023 4 minute read
Deputy Minister for Social Partnership Hannah Blythyn, Chief Executive of Urdd Gobaith Cymru Siân Lewis, and Nicola Scofield, Head of HR for Urdd Gobaith Cymru, and members of the Living Wage Wales team pose with Living Wage signs and Mistar Urdd, the Urdd’s mascot, outside the Welsh Parliament.

Martin Shipton

The Welsh youth movement Urdd Gobaith Cymru has become the 500th employer in Wales to sign up to a commitment to pay all its workers the real Living Wage.

Currently amounting to £10.90 per hour outside London, the real Living Wage is the only UK wage rate based on the cost of living, independently calculated each year by the Resolution Foundation.

The statutory minimum wage is currently £10.42 for workers aged 23 and over, with lower rates for those who are younger.

The Living Wage Foundation provides accreditations to employers who meet real Living Wage criteria. Cynnal Cymru is the real Living Wage accreditation partner for Wales, and manages Living Wage Wales. It is supported by Welsh Government funding to spread the real Living Wage as part of its wider Fair Work agenda.

Living Wage Wales celebrated its best ever month in June 2023, with 23,053 new employees covered by real Living Wage accreditations in Wales in this month alone. Some 3,649 of these employees received a pay rise onto the real Living Wage rate.

This has taken the total number of employees across Wales covered by real Living Wage accreditations to more than 150,000 for the first time. These employees now have a pay floor of the real Living Wage, calculated independently each year based on the real cost of living.

Staff at Urdd Gobaith Cymru and Living Wage Wales met with Welsh Government Deputy Minister for Social Partnership Hannah Blythyn on the steps of the Senedd to celebrate the milestone and Urdd Gobaith Cymru’s accreditation as a real Living Wage employer.

On behalf of the Welsh Government, Deputy Minister for Social Partnership Hannah Blythyn said: “It is fantastic to see Living Wage Wales reach the milestone of 500 accredited real Living Wage employers across Wales.The real Living Wage is an important baseline and we encourage all employers to follow in the footsteps of Urdd Gobaith Cymru and many others in realising the benefits of paying the real Living Wage and becoming accredited for doing so.”


Chief Executive of Urdd Gobaith Cymru Siân Lewis said: “The Urdd is proud to be the 500th accredited employer to commit to real Living Wage. As an employer the Urdd is extremely proud of all our staff and the fantastic work they do to ensure an Urdd for All. The Urdd wanted to recognise the dedication of our staff by voluntarily raising salaries and committing to real Living Wage, reflecting their efforts to providing unique and life shaping activities to young people across Wales.”

Director of Cynnal Cymru Clare Sain-ley-Berry said: “We’re thrilled to welcome Urdd Gobaith Cymru to the Living Wage Wales family, and to celebrate such an important milestone. We now have over 500 accredited real Living Wage employers across Wales, covering 150,000 employees. June 2023 was a record-breaking month for Living Wage Wales, with the number of employees covered by real Living Wage accreditations in Wales increasing by almost 20% in this month alone.

“We’re really pleased to see the momentum Living Wage Wales is developing and the impact this is having in reducing in-work poverty. Our message to all employers in Wales is that joining this movement is not beyond you – Living Wage Wales can work with you to accredit and enjoy the business benefits of being a real Living Wage employer. We’d encourage all employers in Wales to get in touch with Living Wage Wales to discuss becoming a real Living Wage employer.”

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