HR · 6 November 2018

Real living wage increase gives thousands of workers pay rise

Approximately 180,000 people who work for real living wage employers in the UK are set to get a pay rise.

An increase in the ‘real living wage’ is going to translate into a very real pay rise for thousands of SME employees.

Approximately 180,000 people who work for real living wage employers in the UK are set to get a pay rise as their hourly pay increases from £8.75 to £9.00 across the country and from £10.20 to £10.55 in London.

The real living wage is not the government’s compulsory “national living wage” of £7.83 an hour – it’s a voluntary pledge calculated independently based on what people need to live in the UK.

More than 4,700 employers across the country, including major corporations such as IKEA and Google, as well as thousands of SMEs, choose to pay the living wage to staff.

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According to the Living Wage Foundation, the campaigning group that promotes the real living wage, the 2018 increases have been driven by higher transport costs, private rents and council tax. Earlier this week, KPMG released a report that revealed that more than one-fifth of UK jobs pay less than the real living wage.

“The Living Wage campaign is about tackling the rising problem of people paid less than they need to live,” says Living Wage Foundation director, Tess Lanning. “Responsible businesses know that the government minimum is not enough to live on, and today’s new Living Wage rates will provide a boost for hundreds of thousands of workers throughout the UK.”

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Research for the Living Wage Foundation published today found that if local authorities, universities and sports facilities in towns and cities across the country signed up to the living wage, an additional 480,000 low paid workers could benefit.

“Employers that pay the real living wage enable their workers to live a life of dignity, supporting them to pay off debts and meet the pressures of rising bills,” Lanning adds. “We want to see local councils, universities, football clubs, bus companies and the other major public and private sector employers in every city commit to become real living wage employers.”

Research from Middlesex University and the University of Liverpool published in 2016 revealed that 60% of SMEs surveyed saw a positive effect on manager/employee relations when they chose to pay the real living wage.

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Jennifer is a reporter for Business Advice.

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