New accreditation partner Living Wage NI launched to boost fair pay across Northern Ireland

Photo from launch of Living Wage NI

The Living Wage Foundation’s new accreditation partner for Northern Ireland, Living Wage NI, was launched today at an event at Stormont in Belfast. Established by Advice NI and supported by the Department for the Economy, Living Wage NI will provide extra resource to raise awareness and increase uptake of the real Living Wage among employers across Northern Ireland. 

There are currently almost 100 accredited Living Wage Employers in Northern Ireland, nearly double the number there were in 2022. Over 3,500 workers in Northern Ireland receive pay rises in line with the cost of living every year thanks to the real Living Wage. 

Accredited Living Wage Employers in Northern Ireland include Advice NI, the Northern Ireland Executive, the Northern Ireland Assembly, Ulster Bank, Linen Quarter BID, EastSide Partnership and Suki Tea.

Research published earlier this year found that Northern Ireland is the region with the highest levels of low pay in the UK (15.6%) and 190,000 jobs paying below the real Living Wage. This compares to 12.9% in Wales and the UK, and 10.1% in Scotland.

Graham Griffiths, Deputy Director of Living Wage Foundation, said: “We are thrilled to be partnering with Advice NI to launch Living Wage NI to tackle in-work poverty and encourage businesses to pay a real Living Wage based on the cost of living. With thanks to funding from the Department for the Economy, Living Wage NI will be able to build on the growing momentum, with recent accreditations including Queen’s University Belfast and Invest Northern Ireland, to secure pay rises for those who need them most.”

Bob Stronge, CEO of Advice NI, said: "Whilst the Real Living Wage has been embraced across the wider UK, less than one percent of these employers are from Northern Ireland. We aim to change this by working in partnership with the Living Wage Foundation and the Department for the Economy. Our mission is to drive awareness of the Real Living Wage and increase the number of accredited employers in Northern Ireland, signifying a commitment to paying all directly and indirectly employed staff a fair wage. Through our work, we know that people are struggling and offering the living wage is not only the right thing to do but will provide a crucial financial boost to those who need it most."

Conor Murphy, Economy Minister in the Northern Ireland Assembly, said: "There is compelling evidence, backed up by research, that paying workers the Living Wage increases productivity, and leads to better physical and mental health. Supporting this partnership between Advice NI and the Living Wage Foundation is an important part of a wider policy agenda to promote good jobs, one of my four economic priorities. I am pleased to confirm that my Department will provide funding of £125,000 per year to raise awareness of the Living Wage and increase Living Wage Accreditation among employers here – a very sound investment in our economy and society. Everyone should be paid a wage that provides them and their family with a decent standard of living, and I look forward to continuing to work with Advice NI and the Living Wage Foundation in the time ahead with the aim of achieving this goal.” 

For more information about Living Wage NI and how to become a Living Wage accredited employer, visit