It's coming to the end of Living Wage Week 2019, and it really has been our biggest yet! The new Living Wage rates have been announced - £9.30 UK, £10.75 London - giving over 210,000 people a pay rise and once again I'm blown away by the strength of our movement.
It has been a record-breaking year for the Living Wage Foundation. There are now nearly 6000 employers who have signed up to ensure that a hard day's work receives a fair day's pay. We've launched our Living Wage Places scheme, launched Living Hours and reached the all important milestone of having put £1billion back into the pockets of low paid workers. As ever, a huge thank you to our Living Wage employers, business leaders, low paid workers and campaigners for going the extra mile.
And nowhere is this more evident than during Living Wage Week.
There have been so many great moments during Living Wage Week 2019 but here are a few of my highlights:
LIVING WAGE WEEK HIGHLIGHTS
- St Anthony’s Primary School performing their new Living Wage song to over 200 people at Monday’s London Living Wage launch
- Seeing the Living Wage logo on National Express buses, Barclays ATMs, Birmingham posters, London Underground posters, and Living Wage statements on pavements in Norwich, and flags at many iconic buildings
Hearing powerful stories from employees about the difference a Living Wage makes at our events and through press and videos
This Living Wage Week, we also announced Cardiff and Salford’s ambitions to build Living Wage Cities, the first ever in Wales and England. Cardiff is planning to double the number of workers earning a real Living wage to nearly 50,000, freeing many more families from the low pay-trap. We hope to see many more towns and cities follow suit and become Living Wage Places.
And we celebrated new Living Wage employers including FTSE 100 company Hiscox, Crystal Palace Football Club, Welsh Water, V&A Dundee and London City Airport - welcome to the movement.
We also had amazing media coverage during the week. We made BBC Breakfast, including an interview with Anchor Removals, got our business letter printed in the Evening Standard and Guardian, had a comment piece in the Guardian from the Archbishop of York and much more.
On Monday morning we also trended on Twitter!! Thank you so much to everyone that shared your support across social media on Monday and throughout the week.
It’s always wonderful to see the whole Living Wage movement come together during Living Wage Week, but it certainly doesn’t stop here. With new research showing that nearly 1 in 5 workers in the UK still earn less than the real Living Wage, we need your help to keep getting the message out there. The more employers we encourage to sign up, the more workers and their families can live with dignity.
The story that really struck me this year was about a single mother with three children working for a small community charity in Portsmouth that supports people recovering from brain injuries. She was about to take a job working night shifts – on top of her day job - after her children had gone to bed just to make ends meet. After receiving the Living Wage through the Living Wage Funders scheme she didn’t have to do this. That’s the difference a real Living Wage makes.
To keep the Living Wage Week momentum going over the next few weeks, here are a few ways you can continue to spread the word:
Encourage those you’d like to see join you in paying their staff the real Living Wage, by sharing our ‘Become a Living Wage Employer animation’.
Look out for our TFL posters, displayed across hundreds of London Underground stations! If you spot one, send us a picture on social media with #LivingWage
Share our rates table, so everyone knows the difference between the real Living Wage and the government’s minimum.
Until next year!