Fair Pay for Merthyr Tydfil: an action plan for the Living Wage

November 1st 2016

Roughly a quarter of Merthyr Tydfil’s workforce is paid below the voluntary Living Wage, with little prospect of this changing without concerted effort.

The Bevan Foundation’s Living Wage action plan for the borough explores what is needed to significantly reduce the number of low paid workers in the borough. It recommends that a Merthyr Living Wage campaign takes on a local edge, and is led by a strategy group which will provide direction to reach specific targets to increase take-up of the Living Wage.

The six-point strategy recommends:

1. Establishing the Merthyr Living Wage

At the same rate as the Living Wage Foundation rate, local branding will raise the awareness, interest and drive take-up.

2. Setting an achievable target

Aim for Merthyr to have the same proportion of workers on the Living Wage as the UK by 2021 and to secure 12 more Living Wage-accredited employers by Living Wage week in November 2017.

3. Targeting natural sympathisers

Public, third sector and responsible private sector businesses should be encouraged to take the crucial step to committing to the Merthyr Living Wage.

4. Working Together

A local strategy group should provide leadership, offer incentives and support and oversee progress.

5. Harness the power of the local supply chain

Using local purchasing power, especially when goods and services are procured locally, is critical.

6. A fresh approach to funding

Public sector and charitable funders should specify and fund payment of the voluntary Living Wage to all organisations they grant-aid.

Background research

The action plan is support by three documents which look at the potential impact of the Living Wage on Merthyr and the obstacles and barriers which a Living Wage campaign would face. This research is based on a series of interviews and discussions conducted across the borough, and the documents are able to download here:

The Bevan Foundation’s research on the Living Wage in Merthyr Tydfil has been generously funded by the Coalfields Regeneration Trust and Oxfam Cymru. For more information about this project, please visit the project page.

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