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In his speech to the Welsh Labour Party Conference in March 2017 the then First Minister. Carwyn Jones said ‘I want to make Wales a fair work nation’. The Fair Work Commission was set up to make recommendations about making this happen. Its report was published three years ago. Since then, significant progress has been made. These achievements include: the establishment of the Social Partnership and Fair Work Directorate; the setting up of a series of fair work forums to consider how fair work can be achieved in particular sectors; and the introduction of a new piece of legislation designed to put social partnership on a statutory footing. Welsh Government remains committed to building ‘an economy based on the principles of fair work’ as stated in its Programme for Government.

Now, then, is a good time to assess how this activity has affected the lived experience of work in Wales today. The speakers at this Symposium will present evidence drawn from a variety of unique sources, including one-off surveys of workers, responses to short quizzes carried out either side of the pandemic, analysis and surveys of those accredited as Real Living Wage employers, and longitudinal household surveys conducted during the Covid-19 lockdowns.

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