Latest News
Updates from the Living Wage Foundation


  • The Living Wage Foundation announces new UK Living Wage hourly rate of £9 per hour, an increase of 25p per hour
  • London Mayor announces new London Living Wage of £10.55 per hour, an increase of 35p per hour
  • Over 180,000 workers are set for a pay boost
  • The UK rate is £1.17 per hour more than the government minimum wage (for over 25s) and the London Living Wage is £2.72 higher.
  • Over 4,700 Living Wage employers across the UK including over 1,500 in London
  • New research finds that £809,000,000 in extra wages has gone to low-paid workers because of the Living Wage movement, with almost £200m extra received in the past year alone



At least 180,000 people that work for real Living Wage employers across the country are set for a pay rise as the new Living Wage rates rise to £9 around the UK, and £10.55 in London. 

The UK rate has increased by 25p from £8.75 to £9 with the London Living Wage rising by 35p an hour from £10.20 to £10.55 an hour.

The Living Wage rates are the only rates independently calculated based on what people need to live in the UK and London. The 2018 increases have been largely driven by higher transport costs, private rents and council tax feeding through to the basket of goods and services that underpin the rates.

The announcements come after research published yesterday by KPMG found over a fifth of jobs pay less than the real Living Wage, with 1.2 million more jobs paying below the Living Wage since 2012.(1)

The Living Wage Foundation is calling on all major employers to help tackle this rising problem of low pay by committing to go beyond the government minimum and pay a wage their staff can really live on. Research for the Living Wage Foundation published today found that if local authorities, universities and sports facilities (including football clubs) in towns and cities across the country signed up to the Living Wage, an additional 480,000 low paid workers could benefit.

More than 1,200 employers have signed up to go beyond the government minimum to pay the real Living Wage in the last year, including companies as diverse as Liverpool FC, University of Bristol, Sheffield City Region and Aberystwyth University.

They join over 4,700 employers across the UK, including over a third of the FTSE 100, household names like IKEA, Aviva, Nationwide and Google, as well as thousands of small businesses, who are choosing to pay the real Living Wage to ensure all staff, including sub-contracted workers, earn a wage that meets the real cost of living.



Living Wage Foundation Director, Tess Lanning, said:   
“The Living Wage campaign is about tackling the rising problem of people paid less than they need to live. Responsible businesses know that the government minimum is not enough to live on, and today’s new Living Wage rates will provide a boost for hundreds of thousands of workers throughout the UK." 

"Employers that pay the real Living Wage enable their workers to live a life of dignity, supporting them to pay off debts and meet the pressures of rising bills. We want to see local councils, universities, football clubs, bus companies and the other major public and private sector employers in every city commit to become real Living Wage employers. When they do, thousands of people get a pay rise, but other local employers also follow their lead. If more of these institutions step up, we can start to build true Living Wage places."


The new London Living Wage has increased from £10.20 to £10.55 per hour, an increase of 35p an hour, to reflect the higher cost of living facing families in the capital. 

More than 1,500 London-based employers have signed up to pay their staff the hourly rate required to make ends meet in the capital.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan celebrated the new London Living Wage at the Barbican Centre, which is an accredited Living Wage employer.


Heathrow’s Chief Financial Officer Javier Echave, said:

“Our colleagues are our most valued asset and deserve nothing less than the Living Wage. Today we celebrate the anniversary of our Living Wage accreditation and call on more businesses to recognise that successful companies are built on getting these foundations right and investing in their colleagues. Delivering an ambitious cost efficiency programme while making responsible decisions for our people is compatible. Embracing the Living Wage is not just about values, it’s about value. Fair pay drives engagement, higher productivity and better service to our passengers - a win-win solution to all. Later this year, Heathrow will be publishing a roadmap on how we will work with our directly engaged supply chain to ensure they also guarantee employees are paid the Living Wage by late 2020.”

Heathrow’s Business Support Centre colleague, Alison Neill, said:

“Heathrow’s decision to guarantee its colleagues are paid the Living Wage has made a huge impact on my life. Before I earned the Living Wage, I was struggling to keep on top of escalating debt, which was affecting my health, and quality of life.One year on from being lifted onto the Living Wage and I'm now on top of my finances, much happier and more motivated in my role because I'm no longer worried about being overwhelmed with debt.You might not be able to pick out those struggling in a crowd, but I was there, and I know that I am not alone. I strongly encourage other businesses to recognise the value in paying their employees a real Living Wage.”

Jenny Baskerville, Director and co-head of inclusion, diversity and social equality at KPMG UK, said:

“Given that last year’s analysis revealed a glimmer of hope, it is a huge disappointment to learn that the proportion of jobs currently paying below the real living wage is once again growing. The number of jobs paying below the threshold has actually increased by 1.2million since 2012, which really hammers home the magnitude of in-work poverty in the UK. Clearly such a sizeable challenge requires a collective societal effort. For businesses, it’s critical to look beyond the bottom line, instead focussing on non-monetary aspects like improved staff morale, rising service standards or increased productivity.”

Marco Gentile, President EMEIA, Burberry, said:

“At Burberry, we are proud to be a Living Wage accredited employer in the UK. Paying the Living Wage is an investment in our employees and a recognition of the valuable contribution they make to our UK business - whether they are building a career at Burberry or working for one of our contractor partners. As a result, we know that our employees feel more supported, are more motivated and are proud to be a part of our team.”


Living Wage rates are being launched at events across the UK this week by the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, and being welcomed by metro Mayors of Greater Manchester, Liverpool City Region, and Sheffield City Region.
Living Wage Foundation Media Contacts for interviews and case studies: or call 07507 173649 or or call 07535135663

5th November 2018
Back to News