The Living Wage movement began in 2001, after Citizens UK brought together communities in East London to discuss poverty and low pay. The campaign grew in momentum and soon required a mechanism to recognise employers who wanted to join the movement, which saw the establishment of the Living Wage Foundation in 2011.
Still part of Citizens UK today, the Living Wage Foundation continues to work with community organisations to make sure the voices of both workers and businesses are part of the Living Wage movement.
We’re also working across the UK to increase the number of Living Wage Employers, working closely with Citizens UK organisers in places like Greater Manchester, Wales, Tyne and Wear, Cambridge, Birmingham, Sunderland and many more.
The role of business in civil society
Through Citizens UK, it is possible for large and small Living Wage Employers to link up with third sector organisations, trade unions, faith leaders, educational institutions, local government and worker leaders with experience of low pay, to combine connections and influence and make change; whether that’s tackling low pay or something else.
In the Royal Docks (Newham, London) Citizens UK member institutions, such as St Antony's Primary School, collaborate with local Living Wage Employers, such as London City Airport and Tate and Lyle, to grow the real Living Wage locally, encouraging businesses to accredit and raising awareness to guarantee the real Living Wage locally. The pupils of St Antony's work side by side with staff of these organisations for the common goal of making change and tackling low pay.
Those facing injustice at the heart of what we do
The Living Wage was born out of community organising in East London, and working closely with those affected by low pay continues to be at the heart of what we do.
Working with Citizens UK, we continue to listen to the challenges affecting people in communities across the UK and create accreditation programmes to directly tackle the issues faced, such as our Living Hours accreditation which tackles insecure work.
It is important to us that those with lived experience of low pay and insecure work remain at the heart of what we do. Through our Living Wage Places projects and Leadership Academy, we'll continue to work with those affected by low pay so that they can help shape our work, champion the real Living Wage and advocate for change.