Living Wage

According to the latest research, more than six million jobs in the UK are failing to pay employees a living wage. This figure has increased by 300,000 to more than 6million. Recent analysis of the  Officefor National Statistics (ONS) data shows, the 3 million full-time jobs and 3.3million part-time jobs that pay less than the rates set by the Living WageFoundation translate to roughly one in five UK workers earning less than theyrequire to meet the costs of living.

Hardest hit are those living outside of the nation’s capital. ONS figures show that workers residing in Northern Ireland, the East Midlands, Wales, Yorkshire and the Humber, and the northeast are particularly subject to in-work poverty with a staggering 25% unable to earn a real living wage.

Women are also particularly at risk, with roughly 28% of employed women earning less than the voluntary rates of £10.20 an hour in London and £8.75 for the rest of country, set by the Living Wage Foundation.

These concerning figures suggest that there is rapidly growing proportion of the UK population that is struggling to keep up with the pressures and costs of everyday life. Organisations like the Living Wage Foundation offer an alternative to the government mandated statutory minimum pay that is more closely aligned with the reality of today’s cost of living.

There is an increasing trend among many employers to adopt these voluntary higher rates of pay put forth by the Living Wage Foundation, particularly amongst their lowest paid employees. This commitment to paying a real living wage reflects a changing set of values among employers particularly focused on employee well being. There is also evidence to suggest that by adhering to the voluntary higher rates of pay, companies are actually improving their staff retention rates and reducing their recruitment costs.