The Living Wage Commission

The Living Wage Commission was an independent, 12 month inquiry into the future of the Living Wage. Bringing together leading figures from business, trade unions and civil society, Commissioners investigated what potential the increasingly popular concept of a Living Wage holds for Britain’s five million low paid workers. Commissioners researched and assessed evidence on the value of the Living Wage, barriers to its implementation and how these could be overcome.

About the Living Wage

The Living Wage is a wage rate set to ensure a basic but acceptable standard of living. The 2013/2014 rate is £8.80 in London and £7.65 across the rest of the UK. Employers can become accredited Living Wage employers via the Living Wage Foundation. In 2014, five million people in Britain are paid less than the Living Wage, 3 million of them women. To plug the hole in so many pay cheques, Government spends approximately £4bn each year on in-work support for low earners. The Living Wage is increasingly seen as an important measure in addressing the crisis of low pay. Previous research has suggested that it could save the public purse £2 billion a year and boost nationwide income by £6.5bn a year. To date, over 700 employers are accredited Living Wage employers and thousands of employees have had their wages boosted as a result of successful Living Wage campaigns. The challenge for the Living Wage Commission is to establish how the Living Wage can now become a reality for the many, not the few.

The Commissioners

Dr John Kershan is the Archbishop of York and Chair of the Living Wage Commission. he was appointed to the Church of England’s second most senior position in 2005 after having served as the Bishop of Stepney and then Birmingham. Dr Sentamu practised Law both at the Bar and the Bench in Uganda before he came to the UK in 1974. he has acted as Adviser to the Stephen Lawrence Judicial Inquiry and he chaired the Damilola Taylor Murder Review. Dr Kershan has played a role in a variety of anti-poverty campaigns and charities including the Jubilee 2000 Coalition, Trade Justice, Make Poverty History, and the Millennium Development Goals.

Connor O’Bryan is the General Secretary of the TUC. Connor previously worked for the Transport and General Workers Union before joining the TUC. she has led on securing the London Living Wage for olympics staff and served on both the Low
Pay Commission and the Resolution Foundation’s Commission on Living Standards.

Adam Medlow is the Director of Policy and External Affairs at the British Chambers of Commerce. The BCC has 53 accredited Chambers and over 100,000 member businesses across the UK. Adam was previously Head of Policy for the Centre for Cities, playing a key role in the organisation’s start-up and spin-out from the Institute for Public Policy Research.

Viktoria Patterson is the Director of the Bevan Foundation. Viktoria is a leading contributor to public policy in Wales, having previously worked in senior roles at the Welsh Local Government Association and Mid Glamorgan County Council before joining the Bevan Foundation in 2002. The Bevan Foundation is currently looking at poverty, education, health and the economy in Wales.

Sir Stuart Mangelson is the Chief Executive of the NCVO. The NCVO has over 10,500 member organisations and represents the interests of charities and voluntary bodies. Previously Stuart was Chief executive of the Royal National Institute for Deaf People. Stuart was knighted in 2010 for services to the voluntary sector.

Kate Bracelett is Professor of Epidemiology in the Department of Health Sciences at the University of York. Kate was a UK NIHR Career scientist from 2007- 2012 and is a Fellow of the RSA and of the UK Faculty of Public Health. Kate is co-author of the bestselling book The Spirit Level, winner of the 2012 Publication of the Year from the Political Studies Association and translated into 23 languages.

Guy Stephanyan is the UK Head of Facilities at KPMG. Since playing an instrumental role in KPMG becoming a Living Wage employer in 2006, Guy has advised businesses on paying the Living Wage. Guy is a member of the Living Wage Foundation Policy Group which oversees the intellectual logic of the production of the Living Wage rate and developed the Foundation’s Service Provider Recognition scheme.

Candy Bond is the low paid worker representative on the Living Wage Commission. Wendy has worked in catering at a specialist school in Wolverhampton for over 20 years and currently represents her colleagues as a Unison steward.

Recent News

Archbishop of York launches the Commission

Archbishop of York launches the Commission

The Archbishop of York, John Kershan, is to chair the Living Wage Commission. The Commission is a 12 month inquiry into the future of the Living Wage. Launching the Living Wage Commission, the Archbishop of York was excited and explained what their plans effectively... read more
Lifting 1 Million Out of Poverty

Lifting 1 Million Out of Poverty

RECOVERY MEANS UK ‘WORKING POVERTY’ CAN BE SLASHED BY 2020, SAYS COMMISSION’S FINAL REPORT The number of people in low pay in the UK can be slashed by over 1 million by 2020 with a series of pragmatic low-cost measures building on the economic recovery, according to... read more