Living Wage Week: reactions to the newly announced rate for 2020

EventsResourcesVideosWebinarEvent Date: Nov 10th, 2020

On Monday 9th November, the Real Living Wage rate for 2020 was announced.

To kick off Living Wage Week, we talked to a range of organisations to get their thoughts on the new Real Living Wage rate, how to encourage more employers to sign up, and what we can learn from other countries.

Attending the virtual Round Table were:

  • Sarah Hopkins, Director of Cynnal Cymru
  • Nisreen Mansour, Policy Officer at Wales TUC
  • Sue Husband, Director of Business in the Community Cymru
  • Dominic MacAskill, Head of Local Government at Unison Wales
  • Heather Anstey, Myers, CEO of South and Mid Wales Chambers of Commerce

Some of the key topics covered include:

  • the benefits of being a Living Wage employer
  • what other aspects of work need to be looked at
  • why there needs to be an increased focus on strengthening the business case for paying the Real Living Wage
  • the role played by our ‘essential workers’ as a result of the pandemic
  • the question of how employers are able to afford to pay the Real Living Wage

You can read our discussion overview here.

This Round Table was part of our activities to celebrate Living Wage Week 2020. You can find out more about what we have planned through the week here.

The Presenters:

Sarah Hopkins

Sarah Hopkins

Sarah joined the Cynnal Cymru team in January 2020 as the new Director, where she will be responsible for managing the charity, securing income and expanding our reach across sectors, across Wales.

Sarah was most recently H&M’s Sustainability Manager (Cambodia and Vietnam) where she was responsible for setting and driving H&M’s social and environmental sustainability strategy in those countries. Amongst other projects, she managed social and environmental sustainability projects in the supply chain, including a high profile collaboration involving the ILO and other agencies to improve industrial relations, health and safety and living wages in the garment industry. She has a strong commercial background. Sarah lives in Cardiff and was previously a lawyer and member of the corporate responsibility team in a London law firm.

Sue Husband

Sue Husband

Sue Husband is the Director of Business in the Community (BITC) Cymru, with a mission to put responsible business at the heart of every business in Wales.
Sue was previously a senior civil servant, working at the Department of Education, responsible for employer engagement, the National Careers Service and was the national representative for World Skills UK. In her early career Sue worked for McDonald’s UK and held roles in operations, franchising, communications, and training and also led McDonald’s education and apprenticeship programmes.

Dominic MacAskill

Dominic MacAskill

Dominic MacAskill is the UNISON Wales Head of Local Government and Mid and South West Wales Organising Team Leader based in the UNISON Swansea Office.

Mr MacAskill has worked for UNISON as an organiser for over 17 years and as a UNISON activist since 1989, having previously been employed by Rhondda Cynon Taff Council as a qualified Social Worker.

UNISON has over 100,000 members working in public services throughout Wales.

Heather Myers

Heather Myers

Heather Myers has been CEO of the South and Mid Wales Chambers of Commerce for four years, leaving the role at the helm of one of the UK’s most loved food events, the Abergavenny Food Festival and after a number of years consultancy and public sector town planning.

Her mandate is twofold: To help Welsh business to grow, and to ensure that politicians in the Senedd and Westminster understand what they can do to help that ambition.

As CEO of an accredited British Chamber of Commerce, Heather connects Welsh businesses to one of the most powerful B2B private sector membership organisations in the UK and globally, and one that is respected as one of the leading specialists in international trade support and advice.

Named as being one of most influential business voices in Wales, Heather has a laser focus on supporting and listening to the practical day-to-day needs of business, finding solutions, whilst also being a strong articulate business voice speaking up for the needs of SMEs in Wales.

Notes: The South and Mid Wales Chambers of Commerce are accredited to the British Chambers of Commerce which creates strong links to over 53 UK Chambers and over 90 overseas British and affiliate chambers

Nisreen Mansour

Nisreen Mansour

Nisreen Mansour is a Policy Officer at the Wales Trades Union Congress (TUC), contributing to the organisation’s policy work in response to covid, the economy and fair work agenda, as well as social partnership arrangements. Before joining the Wales TUC, she worked for the Bevan Foundation and for a South Wales MP.


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