UWTSD received accreditation as Real Living Wage employer


The University of Wales Trinity Saint David has received accreditation as a Real Living Wage employer. The Real Living Wage is a voluntary payment of £9 per hour, outside London, made by over 6,000 employers in the UK to employees on the lowest grades who are over 18 years of age. Set by the Living Wage Foundation, the Real Living Wage is calculated from the cost of living based on a basket of household goods and services and is intended to enable people to meet their actual living costs.  UWTSD joins 224 employers in Wales to volunteer to pay its employees the Real Living Wage.

Living Wage

Gwyndaf Tobias, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Mari Arthur, Cynnal Cymru, The Ven Randolph Thomas, Chair of Council,  students Siobhan Eleri and Chloe Jones, Jane O'Rourke, Director of HR and Jane Hewitt, HR


The announcement of UWTSD’s accreditation is made ahead of Living Wage Week on the 11 November. Chair of the University’s Council, The Venerable Randolph Thomas, said: “As a major employer in the region UWTSD has volunteered to pay the Real Living Wage as we recognise that in doing so we will make a big difference to our employees on the lowest pay grades and their families.  Paying the Real Living Wage is a long-term investment in our staff and demonstrates our commitment in supporting them to meet the actual cost of living. It is hoped that it will also assist the University in retaining our staff who make an enormous contribution to the University community and to the student experience in particular”.  

According to the Living Wage Foundation survey, 93% of students say that they wish to work for a real wage employer and 90% of consumers agree that pay should reflect living costs.  In addition, 86% of Real Living Wage employers report that it has improved the reputation of their business and 75% report an increase in the motivation and retention of their staff. Since 2011, £32,187,495 in extra wages has gone into workers’ pockets in Wales, directly benefitting nearly 7,000 Welsh workers.  A Living Wage worker in Wales now benefits from an average annual pay boost of nearly £2,000. 

Jane O’Rourke, Director of Human Resources at UWTSD said: “The University has already introduced the Real Living Wage to core staff across its campuses who are on the lowest pay grades and will now be able to pay our directly employed casual staff the same rate. We will also increase the rate in line with any new national standards within six months of our accreditation as agreed by Cynnal Cymru, the Living Wage accreditation body in Wales”.

Among those who will benefit from the Real Living Wage are students Siobhan Eleri and Chloe Jones who are employed by the University as student ambassadors. 

Siobhan said:  “Any financial support helps us as students and the higher rate also shows that there is value to our work for the university.  Being paid at a real living wage rate also helps us decide what kind of part-time work to do because we won't get the same pay if we worked in a café or pub.  It means that the university supports us to work for it and we in turn support the university".

Chloe said: “I am in the third year and so I can't work on the weekends to earn money because of the heavy workload involved in my studies, so casual work as a student ambassador is fantastic because it fits around my studies and the higher rate will be of great help”.

Mari Arthur, of Cynnal Cymru, added:  “I’m really pleased to be part of the University’s celebration of their Living Wage Accreditation. The University of Wales Trinity Saint David is a key employer in west Wales and they have shown leadership and commitment to their workers by ensuring fair wages. I’m also pleased in a personal capacity to be back at my alma mater supporting this important commitment.”


Note to Editor

Living Wage Week from 11-16 November 2019 is a UK-wide celebration of the nearly 6,000 employers that have voluntarily committed to ensure employees and subcontracted staff earn a real Living Wage. This includes over a third of the FTSE 100 and major household names such as Burberry, Nationwide, Lush, Everton Football Club, Heathrow Airport and Oxfam.  


(1) KMPG/Markit research has calculated data on the real Living Wage since 2012. For more information on KPMG research please contact KPMG press office.  
About the Living Wage Foundation  
Only the real Living Wage is calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK and in London. Employers choose to pay this wage on a voluntary basis. The real Living Wage applies to all workers over 18 – in recognition that young people face the same living costs as everyone else. It enjoys cross party support.   
These figures are calculated annually by the Resolution Foundation and overseen by the Living Wage Commission, based on the best available evidence on living standards in the UK and in London.  
The Living Wage Foundation is the institution at the heart of the independent movement of businesses, organisations and people who believe that a hard day’s work should mean a fair day’s pay. We recognise and celebrate the leadership shown by the nearly 6,000 Living Wage Employers across the UK who voluntarily commit to ensure their staff earn a real Living Wage that meets the cost of living. We are an initiative of Citizens UK.   
What is the real Living Wage?   
The real Living Wage is an hourly rate of pay set independently and updated annually (not the UK government’s National Living Wage). It is calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK, and employers choose to pay the Living Wage on a voluntary basis. According to the Living Wage Foundation, since 2001 the campaign has delivered over £1bn extra to some of the lowest paid workers in the UK.  
How is the real Living Wage different from the government’s National Living Wage?  
In April 2016 the government introduced a higher minimum wage rate for all staff over 25 years of age inspired by the Living Wage campaign, calling it the ‘National Living Wage’.   
The government's 'National Living Wage' is not calculated according to what employees and their families need to live. That's why the Living Wage movement campaigns for all employers that can afford to do so to ensure their employees earn a wage that meets the cost of living, not just the government minimum.