Real living wage to rise to £9 across UK

Nov 12, 2018


By Esmeé Hardwick-Slack


Real living wage is set to rise this week by 25p to £9 across the UK and by 35p in London to £10.55. Not to be confused with National Living Wage, the real living wage was devised by the charity National Living Wage Foundation and is calculated to reflect what people need to spend to feed, clothe and house themselves. The charity argues that the governments National Living Wage is not high enough to meet worker’s needs, and encourages employers to sign up its more generous and independently calculated rate. The new rate has been calculated to reflect the rising cost of everything from public transport to monthly rent.

More than 4,700 employers have signed up to pay the voluntary living wage to their staff, ranging from football clubs to banks, universities and retail firms. Those who sign up have to pay the real living wage to both their staff and any sub-contractors also. Around 180,000 employees will qualify for the pay rise.

National Living Wage, the legally binding hourly rate for workers aged 25 and over, currently sits at £7.83 an hour. Tess Lanning, Living Wage Foundation director, has said: “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 thousands of workers throughout the UK. 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 to commit to become real living wage employers.”

However, new research suggests that Living Wage Foundation may be fighting a losing battle, revealing that 22% of jobs are paying less than the real living wage, this is up from 2017’s 21%.


What are your thoughts on national living wage? Should more employers pay real living wage? Let us know in the comments or join the discussion on our Twitter.



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