real living wage set to rise

05 Nov 2018

Real Living Wage set to rise

The real living wage in the UK is set to rise to £9 an hour this week. With more than 180,000 workers expected to receive an inflation-beating pay rise, against the backdrop of increase in rent, council tax and transport costs.

However, this increase will only be for those who work for an employer who has voluntarily signed up to the ‘real living wage’, set to go up by 2.8%. It should not be confused with the compulsory National Living Wage, which is currently £7.83 an hour for anyone over the age of 25.

In London, real living wage employers will pay an extra 3.4%, resulting in a minimum hourly rate of £10.55 for their employees.

An estimated 4,700 employers are signed up to the real living wage agreement across the UK. These include large, well-known companies such as Google, IKEA and Burberry.

The rate, set by the Living Wage Foundation, is calculated by taking into account what workers need to meet the basic costs of living in the UK. With a sharp rise in inflation, following the EU referendum in 2016, there had been a significantly higher living costs and so the increase comes at a good time.

Director of the Foundation, Tess Lanning, said:

“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.

“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.”

In the past year alone 1,200 organisations signed up to pay the higher amount.

However, according to a study conducted by KPMG, a fifth of jobs still pay less than the UK living wage. It also said that 5.75 million workers earned less than the living wage, which was up 4.87 million from five years ago.

By Lyba Nasir