What is the real Living Wage?

The only UK rate based on living costs

The real Living Wage is the only UK wage rate that is voluntarily paid by almost 9,000 UK businesses who believe their staff deserve a wage which meets everyday needs - like the weekly shop, or a surprise trip to the dentist.

Almost 300,000 employees have received a pay rise as a result of the Living Wage campaign and we enjoy cross-party support. We have a broad range of employers accredited with the Foundation including half of the FTSE 100 and big household names including Nationwide, Google, Brewdog, Everton FC and Chelsea FC.

The new Living Wage rates will be announced on Monday 15th November 2021. Employers should implement the rise as soon as possible and within 6 months. All employees should receive the new rate by 15th May 2022. 

In April 2016 the government introduced a higher minimum wage rate for all staff over 25 years of age inspired by the Living Wage campaign - even calling it the ‘national living wage’.

However, this wage is not calculated according to what employees and their families need to live. Instead, it is based on a target to reach 66% of median earnings by 2024. Under current forecasts this means a rise to £10.50 per hour by 2024 and from 2021 was adjusted to include those over 23 years old. The government minimum takes into account what is affordable for businesses.

The real Living Wage rates are higher because they are independently-calculated based on what people need to get by. That's why we encourage all employers that can afford to do so to ensure their employees earn a wage that meets the costs of living, not just the government minimum.