Increase in real living wage brought forward amid cost of living crisis

22 September 2022 by
Increase in real living wage brought forward amid cost of living crisis

The increase in the real living wage has been brought forward as a result of the cost of living crisis and warnings that people may have to choose between heating and food this winter.

Research from the Living Wage Foundation said that more workers in the past six months have been skipping meals and relying on food banks than ever before amid rising food and energy prices.

The real living wage is an independently set hourly rate of pay that is implemented on a voluntary basis by employers. It is calculated based on what people need to live on.

This year that figure has jumped to £10.90 (a £1 increase) in the UK and £11.95 (a 90p increase) in London, which marks the largest year-on-year rise since the scheme was introduced by the Living Wage Foundation in 2011.

Some 390,000 Living Wage workers will see a pay rise at over 11,000 Living Wage Employers as a result of the rise, which sees people paid almost £3,000 per year in the UK and almost £5,000 in London more than the national minimum wage.

Katherine Chapman, director of the Living Wage Foundation, said: "With living costs rising so rapidly, millions are facing an awful heat or eat choice this winter – that's why a real living wage is more vital than ever.

"Today's new rates will provide hundreds of thousands of workers and their families with greater security and stability during these incredibly difficult times.

"We are facing unprecedented challenges with the cost-of-living crisis, but businesses continue to step up and support workers by signing up to the Living Wage in record numbers. We know that the living wage is good for employers as well as workers, that's why the real living wage must continue to be at the heart of solutions to tackle the cost-of-living crisis."

Research from Cardiff Business School showed that one in 10 employees work for an accredited Living Wage Employer, which include the Royal Albert Hall, Aston University and Excel Centre.

Half of the FTSE 100 companies, such as Ikea, Burberry, Lush and Everton FC, currently offer employees the real living wage.

According to the Living Wage Foundation website, there are 552 private sector hospitality businesses, signed up including brands such as BrewDog, Houston & Hawkes, Mercato Metropolitano and Temple of Seitan.

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