Real Living Wage increases today

Real Living Wage increases today

The real Living Wage has increased to £9.30 in the UK and £10.75 in London, following an increase in the cost of living.

The UK-wide Living Wage hourly rate has received an increase of 30p per hour, whilst the London Living Wage rate has seen a rise of 20p per hour.

This makes the UK rate £1.09 per hour more than the government minimum wage for over 25s and the London Living Wage a whole £2.54 per hour higher.

The increase means that over 210,000 people working for almost 6,000 real Living Wage employers throughout the UK are to receive a pay rise.

A full-time worker paid the £9.30 real Living Wage will receive more than £2,000 in additional wages compared to current government minimum – equivalent to nine months of a typical family’s food and drink bill. In London, a full-time worker will receive £5,000 more per year, equivalent to an average family’s annual food, drink, gas and electric bills.

The Living Wage rates are the only rates independently calculated based on what people need to live on. The London and UK rates are increasing by 20p (1.9%) and 30p (3.3%) respectively, with the single biggest factor explaining why the UK wide rate went up more quickly than the London rate being private rental costs (which rose faster UK wide). Childcare costs also rose at a faster rate outside of London.

The announcement of the Living Wage increase arrives as research by KPMG demonstrated the scale of in-work poverty, with 5.2 million jobs still paying less than the real Living Wage. There are big regional disparities, Northern Ireland had the highest percentage of jobs paying below the Living Wage (23%) and South East England the lowest (15%).

The Living Wage Foundation is calling on all major employers to step up and tackle the rising problem of low pay by committing to go beyond the government minimum and pay a wage in line with the real cost of living.

The Living Wage Foundation director, Katherine Chapman, said: “In this time of uncertainty today’s new Living Wage rates give a boost to hundreds of thousands of UK workers. Good businesses know that the real Living Wage means happier, healthier and more motivated workers and that providing workers with financial security is not only the right thing to do, but has real business benefits. This year for the first-time cities and towns have announced big plans to grow the number of Living Wage Employers in their communities.

“We are delighted at the ambition of Cardiff and Salford to build Living Wage cities, with Cardiff planning to double the number of workers getting the real Living Wage to nearly 50,000, freeing many more families from the low pay trap. We hope to see many more towns and cities follow suit.”

Fair work minister Jamie Hepburn said the Scottish Government will continue to encourage more employers to adopt the real living wage.

He said: “This rise will make a big difference to the lives of thousands of people. I am delighted to say that over the last year, even more businesses and organisations have recognised the benefits of ensuring people’s basic pay meets the cost of living. Today there are more than 1,600 Living Wage-accredited employers in Scotland, 300 more than last year.”

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