Living Wage Week 2023 Celebration

The first ever Living Wage Week celebration event in Northern Ireland will take place in Templemore Baths Heritage Space in east Belfast this week. The event, on Tuesday 7th November at 2pm, has been organised by our #ScaffoldingProject 'Living Wage for East Belfast Campaign', an anti-poverty campaign funded by the Urban Villages NI.  

Living Wage Week takes place from Monday 6th - Sunday 12th November and is an annual event aimed at celebrating employers who have signed up to pay their staff the real living wage. 

The real living wage, as opposed to the national living wage, is independently calculated every year by the Resolution Foundation for the Living Wage Foundation and is based on what people need to get by. It also differs from the national living wage in that it is paid to all those aged 18 and above. It is currently £12.00 per hour across the UK and £13.15 in London. Signing up as a living wage employer is voluntary and means paying all directly and indirectly employed staff a living wage.  There are now over 14,000 organisations in the UK signed up as Living Wage employers which has delivered pay rises to more than 430,000 people. 

The Living Wage Campaign for East Belfast began in August 2022 and was the first of its kind in Northern Ireland.  It aims to break the cycle of poverty by reducing levels of low pay and in-work poverty.  When the project began there were just 55 employers signed up as Living Wage employers in NI, there are now 84. 

Living Wage campaigner Mary McManus said:

“2023 has been a momentous year for the campaign and the Living Wage movement in NI with 26 organisations signing up, the highest ever and a 44% increase on 2022.  It has also resulted in 931 employees getting a pay rise.  For a full-time worker that amounts to £3081 per year.  With recent research showing that those paid below the real living wage are struggling to buy food, pay housing costs and heat their homes, the real living wage is more important than ever.

We have achieved important milestones this year with Belfast City Council becoming the first ever council in NI to sign up as a Living Wage employer. Both the Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action, the membership organisation for the Community and Voluntary Sector signed up and The Community Foundation for NI, the largest independent grant making trust signed up.

We are delighted that we will be joined at our celebration event by the Living Wage Foundation and employers Belfast City Council, Community Foundation NI, Bullhouse East and CARD Group Research and Insight who will talk about why signing up as a LW employer is not just good for employees but also makes sense for their businesses”

If you would like to find out more more about signing up as a living wage employer visit:

For more information on the Living Wage for East Belfast Campaign, contact Mary McManus on or on X (formerly Twitter) @LivingWageEB