The Living Wage

The Living Wage

The Living Wage is a voluntary rate of pay which is based on the recognition that the national minimum wage (currently £6.70 per hour) does not pay enough for people to meet a basic quality of life.

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The Living Wage

Living Wage rates are £9.40 in London and £8.25 nationally.

In a new research report, conducted by Markit for KPMG, "Living Wage Research for KPMG", estimates that there are now 5.84 million people in the UK earning less than the Living Wage; 23 percent of the working population. This is up from 22 percent last year and 21 percent the year before.

In a report "The Living Wage: an economic impact assessment", KPMG has recently analysed the economic impact of raising the Minimum Wage to the Living Wage and concludes it would take just 1.3 percent of the national wage bill, lifting six million people out of poverty.

Why should more companies pay the Living Wage?

Businesses need to do what they can for the welfare of their staff. The minimum wage simply does not pay enough for families, in particular, to live on.

The problem of in-work poverty has been highlighted by the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission (PDF 1.78 MB). KPMG’s own research, has found that the number of people earning less than the Living Wage has grown by over 560,000 in the last year to some 5.84 million people.

KPMG has also found that the Living Wage simply makes good business sense. Since introducing the Living Wage for its staff in 2006, KPMG has found that the extra wage costs are more than met by lowered recruitment churn and absenteeism, greater loyalty, and higher morale leading to better performance.

Turnover amongst KPMG’s contracted cleaning staff has more than halved since paying the Living Wage.

Over 2,000 organisations are now accredited Living Wage employers. They gain accreditation through the Living Wage Foundation which is run by the charity Citizens UK.

What is happening in Living Wage Week?

There will be a host of events during the week of 2nd November 2015 to promote, celebrate and inform on paying a Living Wage:

  • This will include the announcement of a new London Living Wage rate by Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, on Monday 2nd November. 
  • Living Wage employers and supporters will be holding events throughout the week to promote the benefits and rationale for signing up.

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