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  • International Workplace
  • 18 November 2020
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Real Living Wage increases as cost of living goes up

Over 250,000 people working for almost 7,000 real Living Wage Employers throughout the country are set for a pay boost as the new Living Wage rates rise to £9.50 across the UK (20p increase), and £10.85 in London (10p increase). 

Over 800 more employers have accredited with the Living Wage Foundation since the start of the pandemic, with major new names including Tate and Lyle Sugars, Network Rail, the All England Lawn Tennis Club (The Championships, Wimbledon) and Capital One.  

These organisations join a network of almost 7,000 employers across the UK, including two-fifths of the FTSE 100 companies, household names like Aviva, Nationwide, Everton FC, and Brewdog, as well as thousands of small businesses, who are choosing to pay the real Living Wage to ensure all staff earn a wage that meets the real cost of living, and covers everyday needs.   

Research conducted by Cardiff Business School has demonstrated the significant impact of the Living Wage campaign since the start of the pandemic. Over 250,000 workers have benefitted from an additional £200m since the start of lockdown, including 130,000 key workers. Since 2011 over £1.3bn in extra wages has gone to workers and families through the Living Wage.  

The UK rate is 78p per hour more than the government minimum wage (for over 25s) and the London Living Wage is £2.13 per hour higher. A full-time worker paid the new £9.50 real Living Wage will receive over £1,500 in additional wages annually compared to the current government minimum. For a full-time worker in London this figure rises to over £4,000.
 
The announcement comes as new research by the Living Wage Foundation has demonstrated the scale of low pay during the pandemic, with 5.5 million jobs (20.3% of employee jobs) still paying less than the real Living Wage. Northern Ireland had the highest proportion of jobs paying below the Living Wage (25.3%) and Scotland the lowest (15.2%). 
 
Laura Gardiner, Living Wage Foundation Director, said: 

“It’s an incredibly challenging time for us all, but today’s new Living Wage rates will give a boost to hundreds of thousands of UK workers, including thousands of key and essential workers like cleaners, care workers and delivery drivers who have kept our economy going.  Since the start of the pandemic employers have continued to sign up to a real Living Wage. During Living Wage Week it’s right that we celebrate those employers that have done right by workers and families, providing them with much needed security and stability even when times are hard. These are the employers that will allow us to recover and rebuild from this crisis.”  

 

The Archbishop of York, the Most Revd Stephen Cottrell, said:

“As our leaders continue to grapple with managing this pandemic, it is critical that all of our workers are kept in the heart of all quarantine management and recovery plans. Throughout this pandemic, we have depended on those of us who have selflessly put their work ahead of their own health and wellbeing for the continued functioning of our society. Over the past few months, we have recognised and applauded their fantastic work; now, this Living Wage Week, it is time we do the morally right thing and follow this recognition with well-deserved reward, paying them what they need to live. It is right to be paid a fair day’s wage.”