The Living Wage foundation has today announced that accredited living wage employers will now pay staff at least the new voluntary living wage rate of £8.25 per hour. This contrasts the national minimum wage of £6.70 per hour, and the new minimum wage rate for over-25s of £7.20 per hour which comes into force next year.
There are now more than 2,000 official Living Wage employers across the UK, a figure double that of last year.
Sarah Vero, director Living Wage Foundation said: "Today we are celebrating those 2,000 responsible businesses that are voluntarily paying the Living Wage to their staff. These employers are not waiting for Government to tell them what to do; their actions are helping to end the injustice that is in-work poverty in the UK now.
“The Living Wage campaign is growing at pace. Today more UK businesses are announcing their Living Wage accreditation including national retailer Richer Sounds, Lloyds Banking Group and Unilever. They join a growing list of organisations ranging from FTSE 100 companies to independent businesses, SMEs and third sector employers who all share our belief that work should be the surest way out of poverty. The Living Wage is good for people and for business."
The Living Wage announcement today comes in tandem with research released by KPMG, a principal partner of the Living Wage Foundation, which details the number of workers across the UK earning less than a Living Wage, as well as breaking down the areas across the country where low pay remains prevalent and highlighting the sectors paying the lowest rates of pay across the UK.
Neil Jameson, director, Citizens UK said: “Citizens UK member communities have been acting on this issue for well over a decade to champion the Living Wage and encourage those businesses we believe can, to pay their staff enough to live on. Whilst huge gains have been made with increased numbers of organisations signing up, the fact remains that nearly 6 million workers, that’s 23 per cent of the UK’s working population, earn less than a Living Wage.”
The Foundation has launched an online interactive map as part of the Living Wage People’s Movement, detailing for the first time, all the accredited businesses and their branches that pay their staff at least the Living Wage, so consumers and businesses can easily search for a Living Wage accredited employer to do business with or buy from. The map is available at http://www.livingwagemovement.org/map/
Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, today announced that the London Living Wage would also increase to £9.40 per hour. The London Living wage is calculated independently to reflect the cost of living in the Capital.