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Real living wage increases to £9.30 in UK

Nov '19
Pic: UK Living Wage Foundation
Pic: UK Living Wage Foundation
The UK Living Wage Foundation recently announced the new UK living wage hourly rate of £9.30 per hour, an increase of 30p per hour. The new London living wage is £10.75 per hour, an increase of 20p per hour. The UK rate is £1.09 per hour more than the government minimum wage (for over 25s) and the London living wage is £2.54 per hour higher.

Over 210,000 workers are set for a pay rise, with the difference between the real living wage and the minimum wage growing to over £2,000 across the country and almost £5,000 in London.

The real living wage rates are calculated independently by the foundation based on what people need to get by, while the UK government's 'national living wage' is calculated based on a target to reach 60 per cent of median earnings by 2020, and not according to what employees and their families need to live, according to the foundation.

The announcement comes 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 per cent) and South East England the lowest (15 per cent).

New research finds that over £1.1 billion in extra wages has gone to low-paid workers because of the Living Wage movement, including £257 million in the last year alone.

Analysis from IHS Markit for KPMG finds that 5.2 million workers are still paid under the real living wage; the lowest figure for seven years, according to a press release from the foundation.

The London and UK living wage rates are increasing by 20p (1.9 per cent) and 30p (3.3 per cent) respectively, with the single biggest factor explaining why the country-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.

A record 1,500 more employers have accredited with the Living Wage Foundation this year.

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.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)

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December 2019

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