The UK’s voluntary living wage rate is set to rise by 4.6 percent in London to £10.20 an hour and 3.6 percent elsewhere to £8.75 per hour in order to challenge inflation.
The change, which will be announced on Monday, will affect over 150,000 employees who work for the 3,600 companies who pay the voluntary wage that aims to reflect the wage needed to sustain a decent quality of life.
Director of the Living Wage Foundation, Katherine Chapman, said that the living wage is necessary because it reflects the “real cost of living in the UK and London”.
“The new living wage rates will bring relief for thousands of UK workers being squeezed by stagnant wages and rising inflation. It’s thanks to the leadership of over 3,600 employers across the UK who are committed to paying all their staff, including cleaners and security staff, a real living wage.”
Over 1,000 employers have signed up to adopt the living wage over the past year, including Heathrow airport and the National Gallery.
There is still a long way to go, with many employers not adopting the voluntary wage.
“It’s incredible to see so many of the UK’s largest businesses refuse to pay their staff a living wage,” said Dr Wanda Wyporska, the executive director of The Equality Trust.
“It’s even more appalling when you consider the average pay for a FTSE 100 boss is now over 300 times that of a minimum wage worker.”
Sadiq Khan celebrated the increase in the living wage, but expressed there was still a long way to go.
“London is one of the most dynamic and prosperous economies in the world, but unfortunately this prosperity isn’t shared by all Londoners. In the capital today, more than two million people are struggling to make ends meet and the ethnic pay gap is shockingly and unacceptably large,” he said.
“I want to make sure that no one who goes to work every day should have to endure the indignity of poverty. Paying the London living wage is not only the action of a responsible organisation, but a successful one too. Many of the accredited employers I speak to tell me of the increased productivity and reduced staff turnover that they’ve experienced since signing up.”