The UK voluntary living wage is to rise by 20p an hour.
The Living Wage Foundation has announced that the Living Wage rate will increase by 20p to £8.45 per hour, while the London Living Wage rate will increase by 35p to £9.75.
For those living in London, the rate will rise by 35p to £9.75 an hour, the city’s Mayor, Sadiq Khan, announced.
Both rates are well ahead of the “national living wage” of £7.20 an hour – the new legal minimum wage for over 25s introduced by the government in April this year.
Nearly 3,000 businesses are signed up to the scheme, including Ikea and EDF. More companies have announced their commitment to pay the living wage such as Curzon Cinemas, the British Library and Everton Football Club as the independently verified pay rate rises by nearly four per cent in London.
The scheme is separate from the government’s National Living Wage, introduced in April this year.
The level of the voluntary living wage is calculated annually by the Resolution Foundation and overseen by the Living Wage Commission, which is appointed by the Living Wage Foundation and includes representation from employers, trade unions, civil society and independent experts.
Katherine Chapman, director of the Living Wage Foundation, said:
“The new living wage rates bring a welcome pay rise to thousands of workers across the UK. One in five people earn less than the wage they need to get by. That’s why it’s more important than ever for leading employers to join the growing movement of businesses and organisations that are going further than the government minimum and making sure their employees earn enough to cover the cost of living.”
Commenting on the increase, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:
“This is a welcome rise. Working people should have the right to expect a fair days pay for an honest day’s work.
“It’s great to see another 1,000 employers signing up, but millions of families are still blighted by low pay. Good employers need to pick up the pace and adopt the real Living Wage.
“The fight for decent pay won’t be won just by employer goodwill, however. We need strong unions who can negotiate with employers and win fair pay for their members, along with a rise in the government’s minimum wage.
“Unlike the government’s minimum wage, this real Living Wage is based on a review of the evidence on what is happening to people’s living standards right now. The Living Wage Commission has used a robust single approach to calculating what people need to live in London and the UK.”