Real living wage: UK workers set for pay bump to £9.90 per hour

·2 min read
Real living wage: UK workers set for pay bump to £9.90 per hour
The Living Wage Foundation estimates that more than £1.6bn in extra wages has gone to low-paid workers since the start of the Living Wage movement 20 years ago. Photo: Getty

Workers across the UK are set for a pay rise, as almost 9,000 employers have voluntarily signed up to the real living wage. 

More than 300,000 people employed by those companies will get an hourly boost of 40p to £9.90 ($13.27) an hour. 

In London, pay will be £11.05 an hour — a 20p increase. 

The real living wage is an hourly rate of pay set independently and updated annually. It is calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK, and employers choose to pay the sum on a voluntary basis. 

This is a different policy from the national living wage, which currently sits at £8.91 an hour for anyone aged over 23. 

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Employers signed up include companies such as IT company Fujitsu (FTJSY), grocery delivery service Getir, cosmetic retailer Lush, consulting business Capita, Everton Football Club and the Nationwide Building Society.

Half of the FTSE 100 (^FTSE) has joined the agreement including insurer Aviva (AV.L), fashion house Burberry (BRBY.L) and housebuilders Taylor Wimpey (TW.L) and Persimmon Homes (PSN.L).

The Greater London Authority and Greater Manchester Combined Authority are today making announcements on their progress to becoming living wage city regions.

The Living Wage Foundation estimates that more than £1.6bn in extra wages has gone to low-paid workers since the start of the living wage movement 20 years ago. 

The announcement of the new rates comes as new research by the Living Wage Foundation has demonstrated the scale of low pay during the pandemic, with 4.8 million jobs — 17.1% of employee jobs — still paying less than the real living wage. 

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Northern Ireland had the highest proportion of jobs paying below the living wage, at 21.3% or 236,000, and the South East of England has the lowest, at 12.8% or 533,000.

Those from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) groups were more likely to be low paid — with 19.4% of these workers earning below the living wage compared to 16.3% of white workers.

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