Cardiff Airport commits to pay living wage by 2020

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Cardiff Airport has committed to paying its employees the voluntary living wage rate of £8.75 an hour by 2020.

The airport organisation is currently working towards being in a position to gain The Living Wage Foundation’s accreditation for paying all of its permanent employees and third-party contractors the UK living wage rate by the end of 2020. This forms part of Cardiff Airport’s overall business recovery plan, which is focused around creating a sustainable airport for stakeholders and employees.

Cardiff Airport originally made the pay commitment in 2016-2017 as part of negotiations with the trade union GMB. At that time the airport agreed with GMB officials to strive to achieve parity with The Living Wage Foundation’s rate of pay, but that this would have to be balanced in line with the airport’s profitability.

The living wage is an independently set hourly rate of pay that is calculated according to the basic costs of living. It is paid on a voluntary basis by employers and is updated annually. The living wage rate was raised on 5 November 2017 to be set at £8.75 an hour for employees working across the UK, and at £10.20 an hour for staff that are based in London. The higher London living wage rate is to reflect the increased living costs associated with residing in the capital.

The voluntary living wage is distinct from the statutory national minimum wage, which is paid to employees aged 25 and over. The national minimum wage rate is currently set at £7.50 an hour.

In addition, GMB members voted to accept a pay deal proposed by Cardiff Airport in September. This will see all airport staff receive a two-year pay increase of 4% with 2% of the pay rise being awarded this year.

Security staff at the airport have also been transferred on to new contracts to remove the need for zero hours contracts. The new contacts include time and a half payment for working overtime outside of full-time contracted hours.

Rosemary Broad, organiser at GMB, said: “GMB is delighted to have secured a commitment from Cardiff Airport to pay a living wage. We are clear we support a real living wage and are pleased to have got that commitment from Cardiff Airport through discussions with GMB last year.

“[While] we accept that big changes like this cannot be made overnight, we’re satisfied that there is a plan in place that will see the living wage implemented voluntarily. In the meantime, we are happy with the outcome of the pay negotiations this year; 4% pay rise over two years for members and confirmation from the airport to pay all staff the national living wage rate regardless of age, ensuring that younger members of staff get a deal in line with their peers however old they are.

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“Additionally, parity was attained for all security staff securing double time pay should they be required to work bank holidays. We have a constructive relationship with the airport management which has allowed us to reach this point and we hope to see this continue in the future. However, we will remain vigilant and should we be in a position where we believe the airport is reneging on their agreements, we will be the first to speak out.”

A spokesperson at Cardiff Airport added: “Cardiff International Airport Limited employees are all paid at rates that are above the national living wage and we are committed to working towards honouring the real living wage by 2020. Cardiff Airport is on a continuing journey of growth and improvement to deliver a sustainable national airport for Wales. ”