Reducing in-work poverty – ‘Working Life in York’ Survey for the University of York

Following implementation of paying the living wage to employees of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation/ Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust, City of York Council and York St John University, The University of York and its partners (the aforementioned employers) were evaluating the most effective and sustainable policies to reduce in-work poverty.

Detailed two-hour long interviews

To inform the evaluation Qa was commissioned by Professor Jo Swaffield of the University of York to undertake face to face interviews with 500 of the lowest paid employees of City of York Council, Joseph Rowntree Foundation/ Housing Trust and York St John University.

Our interviewers contacted respondents by telephone to reassure them about confidentiality and to arrange a convenient time for interviewers to carry out the two hour long survey either at home or at our York office.

The survey involved a detailed breakdown of each employee’s household, their household’s earnings, income, benefits, savings, debts, expenditure and time use as well as their views on the Living Wage policy recently adopted by each of the participating employers.

All data from the completed surveys was inputted and coded before being supplied to the University of York in SPSS format for analysis.

Qa also recruited employees from the face to face study to take part in depth interviews with the University of York Research Team to discuss how employers can help low paid employees further, alongside the living wage.

Informing support for employees

The results of the research will provide an indication of how the implementation of the Living Wage has impacted on employees and will help the employers to best understand how they could support employees further with other measures.


Helen Hardcastle at Qa for more information: 01904 632039