Leeds ,

Living wage seminar to tackle in-work poverty

Leading experts from organisations across the region are coming together to discuss how implementing the living wage will affect commissioning and procurement for businesses.

The seminar, The Living Wage - opportunities & implications for commissioners & procurement, hosted by the deputy leader of Leeds City Council, Councillor James Lewis will bring together leading experts to promote open discussion on what needs to be done to create changes.

The event will take place on Thursday 14 April at 9.30am in the Banqueting Suite at Leeds Civic Hall.

The living wage has significant implications and its impact will be felt in procurement and supply. Progressive organisations are increasingly paying staff living wages, but fewer organisations have been able to address how paying the living wage fits with their supply chain. This event will explore approaches from number of different angles to help delegates think differently about this and how to overcome any issues in their organisation.

Representatives from the commissioning and procurement community across the city region, as well as those involved in economic and community development, those supporting social inclusion, Trade Union and HR representatives are being invited to take part and add their views.

The contributors include:

  • Councillor James Lewis, deputy leader, Leeds City Council – Low pay and why it matters – doing more to support lower paid workers
  • Tom Chigbo, Leeds Citizens & Citizen’s UK – an insight into low pay and in work poverty
  • Dr David Devins, Leeds Beckett University – maximising the local impact of Anchor Institutions: promoting good jobs through mindful public expenditure
  • Matthew Jackson, Centre for Local Economic Strategies – How living wages and local spending can be a major influence on economic development
  • Mick Ward, Chief Officer, Adult Social Care, Leeds City Council – sharing a different approach being used in social care
  • Andy Eaton, Executive Commercial Legal Manager, Leeds City Council – some practical and legal considerations
  • GMB/UNISON and TUC – to give a Trade Union view

Councillor James Lewis, deputy leader of Leeds City Council, said:

“In-work poverty is one of the biggest challenges we face, affecting 1 in 4 households in Leeds. We need to do more to tackle the causes and consequences of this.

“Since March last year we started work on supporting our direct work-force looking at better basic pay; working towards the living wage. We also realised that we can make a difference by promoting employee benefits, advising on finance and by getting better at engaging lower paid staff so they don’t get left behind in terms of skills and progression opportunities.

“There is no quick-fix to tackle in-work poverty unless we recognise we need to do much more ourselves and across the city and wider region. Encouraging other organisations to do similar work is critical to doing the right thing for hard working families who struggle to make ends meet.

“For this reason I’m bringing together a wide variety of experts from universities, pressure groups, trade unions and also people who are at the forefront of solving this to share ideas and raise consciousness. I want to use this event as a creative stimulus for bringing about much needed change for the citizens of Leeds.”

To book a place on the seminar, people can visit: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/low-pay-seminar-tickets-21628034032