Making Bristol a Living Wage city

Employers' recognition helps city achieve new status. 

A coalition of employers in 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 Bristol Living Wage Action Group, an alliance of employers including Bristol Credit Union, Bristol City Council, the University of Bristol, Triodos Bank, DAC Beachcroft, Wessex Archaeology, The Soil Association, and Business West aims to more than double the number of accredited Living Wage employers by 2023 paying the real Living Wage of £9.30. The Action Group’s 3-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, and lift more than 1,300 additional workers in Bristol onto the real Living Wage.

There are currently 165 accredited Living Wage employers in Bristol, with almost 20,000 employees working for Living Wage Employers.

The Living Wage Places scheme - run by the Living Wage Foundation - recognises and celebrates the geographical areas that are doing most to expand Living Wage accreditation.
They are locations where communities and businesses are working together to tackle low pay within their local area.

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 of 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.”

James Berry, CEO at Bristol Credit Union, said: "We’ve dedicated the last 20 years to improving the financial well-being of thousands of people in Bristol, including our staff. Through our work, we have seen first-hand how paying the real Living Wage can help tackle poverty and inequality in our city. We are committed to working together to tackle low pay in our local communities, and we urge all Bristol employers to sign up and make a difference".

Peter Gibbs, Manager at the Volunteer Tavern, said: “Paying the real Living Wage helps tackle income inequality which leads to improved social indicators like education and mental wellbeing. On top of this, staff are more motivated and less likely to leave which saves money for businesses recruitment and training process.”

Rob Logan, Director of Procurement at 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.”

There are now 321 accredited Living Wage employers in the South West as a whole. You can find all Living Wage Employers in Bristol on the Living Wage website.

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Posted on
14 January 2020