What is it?
- An hourly rate set independently and updated annually
- The Living Wage is calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK
- The current UK Living Wage is £8.45 an hour (£9.75 in London)
- Employers choose to pay the Living Wage on a voluntary basis
- The Living Wage enjoys cross party support, with public backing from the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition
- Paying the Living Wage is good for business, good for the individual and good for society
- The Living Wage Employer Mark and Service Provider Recognition Scheme provide an ethical badge for responsible pay
What are the benefits?
GOOD FOR BUSINESS
An independent study examining the business benefits of implementing a Living Wage policy in London found that more than 80% of employers believe that the Living Wage had enhanced the quality of the work of their staff, while absenteeism had fallen by approximately 25%.
Two thirds of employers reported a significant impact on recruitment and retention within their organisation. 70% of employers felt that the Living Wage had increased consumer awareness of their organisation’s commitment to be an ethical employer.
Following the adoption of the Living Wage PwC found turnover of contractors fell from 4% to 1%.
GOOD FOR FAMILIES
The Living Wage affords people the opportunity to provide for themselves and their families.
75% of employees reported increases in work quality as a result of receiving the Living Wage.
50% of employees felt that the Living Wage had made them more willing to implement changes in their working practices; enabled them to require fewer concessions to effect change; and made them more likely to adopt changes more quickly.
GOOD FOR SOCIETY
The Living Wage campaign was launched in 2001 by parents in East London, who were frustrated that working two minimum wage jobs left no time for family life.
The causes of poverty are complex and in order to improve lives there should be a package of solutions across policy areas. The Living Wage can be part of the solution.
REAL LIVING WAGE V NATIONAL LIVING WAGE.
In April 2016 the government introduced a higher minimum wage rate for all staff over 25 years of age inspired by the Living Wage campaign – even calling it the ‘national living wage’.
However, the government’s ‘national living wage’ is not calculated according to what employees and their families need to live.
Instead, it is based on a target to reach 60% of median earnings by 2020. Under current forecasts this means a rise to less than £9 per hour by 2020.
For under 25s, the minimum wage rates also take into account affordability for employers.
The real Living Wage rates are higher because they are independently-calculated based on what people need to get by. That’s why we encourage all employers that can afford to do so to ensure their employees earn a wage that meets the costs of living, not just the government minimum.