Merthyr Tydfil businesses learn of Living Wage benefits

September 21st 2016

The Bevan Foundation has highlighted how increasing the pay of the lowest paid workers via the Living Wage could benefit local businesses and Merthyr Tydfil’s economy.

In a presentation to Merthyr Tydfil Business Club, the Bevan Foundation’s Policy and Research Officer, Nisreen Mansour, showed how the voluntary Living Wage can increase productivity, improve staff retention rates, make recruitment easier and boost workers’ morale. It can also benefit the local economy when people have more disposable income to spend in the borough.

Nisreen Mansour said: “The benefits of the Living Wage do not stop with employees; employers and the wider community can benefit as well. While many of Merthyr’s employers already pay the Living Wage, many do not and we know that people in part-time work, as well those in occupations and industries like hospitality and care work are at far greater risk of being paid below it.

“We’ve found that many employers are not aware that they are paying people less than the Living Wage, so we’re B1asking them to take the simple first step of looking at their pay structures to see if they pay anyone less than the Living Wage rate of £8.25 an hour. Once they’ve got a picture of the sort of change that is required, they can start planning how they can pay all their employees the Living Wage.”

Thanks to funding from the Coalfields Regeneration Trust and Oxfam Cymru, the Bevan Foundation is looking at what should be done to increase the number of people earning at least the voluntary Living Wage, currently £8.25 an hour. It has found that approximately a quarter of jobs in the borough are paid less than this rate – the amount needed for a basic but acceptable standard of living.

Alun Taylor, Head of Operations at the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, said: “Like so many former coalfield communities in Wales, Merthyr is still recovering from decades of decline and poor living and working conditions, so we are very proud to be supporting the Bevan Foundation in their living wage cause. We hope that their recent business case will encourage more local businesses to commit to paying their staff the living wage.”

For more information about the Bevan Foundation’s work on the Living Wage in Merthyr Tydfil, click here.

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