Living Wage Commission

The Living Wage Commission was set up in January 2016 to oversee the calculation of the Living Wage rates in London and the UK. 

The Commission, drawn from leading Living Wage accredited employers, trade unions, civil society and independent experts, supports and promotes the goals of the Living Wage as an attainable benchmark for employers committed to ensuring their employees earn a wage that meets the real cost of essential goods and services.

The Living Wage is set by a formula based on what happens to living standards from one year to the next. The Commission provides a transparent decision-making forum to resolve specific judgements about how to incorporate policy changes and new sources of data into the calculation. It also advises on how to manage extreme year-to-year variations from general rises in living costs.

The Commission is appointed by the Living Wage Foundation.


  • Professor Rachel Ashworth, Dean, Cardiff Business School
  • Rachel Cowburn-Walden, Global Director - Human Rights Stewardship, Unilever
  • Lynn McManus, Chief People Officer, Nationwide
  • Gavin Kelly, Chair, Resolution Foundation
  • Paul Kissack, Group Chief Executive, Joseph Rowntree Foundation
  • Joanne McCartney, Deputy Mayor of London
  • Kate Bell, Assistant General Secretary, Trades Union Congress
  • Tom Stannard, Chief Executive, Salford City Council


  • To oversee the calculation of the independent Living Wage rates in London and the UK


  • To produce robust and sustainable Living Wage rates based on best available evidence about living standards in London and the UK

Areas of Responsibility

  • To provide robust, independent direction on the calculation of the Living Wage rates
  • To make judgements about how to incorporate policy changes and new sources of data into the calculation
  • To keep the methodology under review to ensure the Living Wage remains fully representative of life in the UK today and uses the most up-to-date data available on the cost of living

Areas of Activity

  • Meet as required to review progress against purpose and aims
  • Consult and take evidence from key stakeholders on the potential impact of policy and cost of living trends on the rates
  • Undertake and commission projects and research as appropriate
  • Make recommendations to the Living Wage Foundation on matters relating to the methodology

In September 2016 the Living Wage Commission published a report setting out an aligned approach to calculating the Living Wage rates in London and the UK, based on a 6-month review of the best available evidence on living standards across the country.

The work of the Commission is kindly supported by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Aviva, the Trades Union Congress and the Resolution Trust.