Updates from the Living Wage Foundation

New Living Wage Rates Announced

New Living Wage rates announced

45,000 workers to benefit from new pay rate

Today Boris Johnson announced the new London Living Wage rate and Julia Unwin CBE announced the new UK Living Wage rate. Events in London, Glasgow, Cardiff and York will mark the start of the first Living Wage Week.

The hourly rates have increased by 25 pence, from £8.30 to £8.45 for London and from £7.20 to £7.45 for the UK. The Living Wage is the pay needed to provide an adequate standard of living. It compares to the national minimum wage rate of £6.19 an hour.

New figures released today show that the Living Wage campaign, launched by charity Citizens UK in 2001, has lifted 45,000 people out of working poverty and won over £200m of improved pay for low-income workers.

The Living Wage Foundation also announced today the list of 100 organisations that have become officially accredited Living Wage Employers.  This includes leading names in the private, public and third sectors such as KPMG, Birmingham City Council and Save the Children.

In Islington Ed Miliband was joined by 10 accredited Labour Local Authorities that have committed to the Living Wage for their directly employed and contracted staff. This will benefit thousands of low-paid staff across the UK.

The news comes after a report published last week showed that nearly 5 million workers - one in five - in the UK are paid less than the Living Wage – and that the economic squeeze is hitting these people the hardest.

Bishop Eric Brown, Chair of Citizens UK, and Administrative Bishop of the New Testament Church of God said: “The Living Wage means strong families, strong communities and dignity in work. The campaign has seen 45,000 workers moved on to the Living Wage and each one of them will see pay rises as a result of today’s announcement. This means food on the table, a warm home this winter and time for families to be together.” 

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, said: “By building motivated, dedicated work forces the Living Wage helps businesses to boost the bottom line and ensures that hard working people who contribute to London’s success can enjoy a decent standard of living. Despite very challenging economic times it’s clear that more employers are waking up to the huge benefits that paying the Living Wage delivers.

We have a huge range of household names on board and I want to see more coming forward. I’m sure that the new Living Wage Foundation trademark will become a fantastic badge of honour for the capital’s employers and add further momentum to a campaign I wholeheartedly support.”

Julia Unwin CBE, Chief Executive of Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said: “A living wage is good for business, for the individual and for society. Consequently, it is entirely right that it enjoys cross-party political support as well as support from major employers.

“I am delighted to confirm that, as an employer, from 2013, we will pay a living wage to all of our colleagues, extending it to around 100 of our lowest paid who are carrying out important work as care assistants, cleaners and catering workers. I would urge more employers to make a commitment to paying a living wage.”
Ed Miliband, Leader of the Labour Party

"In these tough times the Living Wage is continuing to gather momentum, with Labour taking it from London to every corner of Britain. This is part of rebuilding Britain as One Nation, a country where prosperity is fairly shared and everyone has a stake.

Together with the Living Wage Foundation the work of Labour councils is helping to ensure that, even in opposition, we can begin building an economy that works for working people rather than just a few at the top.

The next step is to find ways of taking the Living Wage into the private sector by working with businesses who understand by paying staff enough to live on and provide for their families makes them better and more productive employees."

Rhys Moore, Director of the Living Wage Foundation, said:  “The Living Wage movement is growing as more employers realise the benefits of paying workers enough to get by on. Like Fairtrade, it represents a new standard for responsible business. We hope to see the Living Wage mark and symbol spreading further and further across organisations in the UK.”

Notes to Editors:

  • The London Living Wage rate is calculated by the GLA’s Living Wage Unit, with cross-party support.  It is updated on a yearly basis, calculating a ‘poverty threshold wage’ and adding a 15 percent margin to ensure that the recipients do not fall to the level of poverty wages
  • The UK Living Wage rate (ie outside London) is calculated annually by the Centre for Research in Social Policy at Loughborough University, with funding from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
  • An estimated total of 45,000 workers have benefitted from the campaign to a total of £210m. This has been estimated by Professor Jane Wills of Queen Mary University of London.
  • Accredited Living Wage employers – there are now close to 100 accredited Living Wage Employers.  See our 'Employers' page for details.
  • Living Wage Week will see events taking place across the UK – in York with Archbishop John Sentamu, in Wales with Cardiff Council, in London with Ed Miliband and Rachel Reeves. 
5th November 2012, 13:22
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