The Living Wage campaign

15 November 2021

The real Living Wage

The real Living Wage is an hourly rate independently calculated each year based on the real cost of living and is voluntarily paid by thousands of UK employers.

The real Living Wage is currently £9.90 across the UK and £11.05 in London.  New rates are announced on Monday of the first week of November each year.

Paying the real Living Wage is good for business, good for the individual and good for society – that’s why People’s Health Trust has been an accredited Living Wage Employer since 2012.

The real Living Wage is different to the government’s National Living Wage. The National Minimum Wage is a statutory minimum for over 25’s that all employers have to pay.

Picture: Living Wage Foundation  

The real Living Wage is a voluntary rate based on the best available evidence about living standards in London and the UK. It applies to all workers over the age of 18 – recognising that young people face the same living costs as everyone else. There is a separate London rate reflecting the higher living costs in the capital.

Jobs and income are important social determinants of health. Having a good job can protect health, while being unemployed can contribute to poor health. Paying at least the real Living Wage, providing opportunities for development and giving people flexibility to balance work with family and social life are all indicators of good jobs.

Being paid the real Living Wage makes a real difference to people’s health and wellbeing. It’s not about making people rich, it’s about improving the standard of living.

Why pay the Living Wage?

The real Living Wage is paid by more than 4,000 UK employers who believe a hard day's work deserves a fair day's pay.

Not only is it the right thing to do, there's a strong business case for paying the real Living Wage. A survey by Cardiff University’s Cardiff Business School, The Living Wage – Employer Experience, of more than 800 Living Wage businesses ranging from SME’s to FTSE 100 companies, found that 93% reported they had benefited since accrediting.  

The research found that:

  • 86% of respondents reported that Living Wage accreditation had enhanced their organisation’s general reputation as an employer
  • Over half of employers reported that the Living Wage had improved both recruitment and retention
  • 76% of large organisations (those employing over 500 people) that responded, reported improved retention of employees receiving the Living Wage
  • 75% of large employers also reported that following accreditation staff motivation was increased

Picture: Living Wage Foundation  

Become an accredited Living Wage employer

The Living Wage Foundation offer a sliding scale of annual accreditation fees based on organisation size, starting at £60 per year for those with fewer than 10 employees.

All fees go straight back into supporting and developing the independent movement of businesses, organisations and people campaigning on the principle that a hard day's work deserves a fair day's pay.

Find out more about becoming a Living Wage Employer
Read more about the difference the Living Wage makes to people’s lives

People’s Health Trust is a Principle Partner for the Living Wage Foundation. You can find out more about the Principal Partners here.

Living Wage Places 

The Trust supports the  Living Wage Places scheme, which has seen Dundee become the first city recognised for its plans to build a Living Wage City. Since then, there has been a wave of interest from areas across the UK, including the UK’s first Living Wage Building in Brixton, and Glenrothes – the first town recognised for its plans to become a Living Wage Town.

Living Wage cities, towns and boroughs are recognised for creating a Living Wage Place when a group of local employers, led by the council and including other anchor institutions such as hospitals, universities, transport providers, cultural and sport organisations, agree to become Living Wage Employers and work together on a plan to increase accreditations locally.

The places in which we live have a huge impact on our health. The Trust is supporting the scheme in Cardiff, Salford and the London Borough of Southwark to improve pay for thousands of low paid workers, train community organisers to build local collective power and support local partnership working to create systemic change.

Sameea’s story: “What being paid the Living Wage means to me”

“This is the first job I've had that pays the Living Wage and it makes such a difference - it feels good. I am proud of that and always tell my friends that my employer values me. In my previous jobs I was always keeping an eye on how I spent my money, which people should always do but sometimes it just feels good to do the little extra things with friends and family. With that little bit extra, I can now save for the future.
“We help so many people in the community, and I believe we should get a fair wage - the wage we deserve. Getting paid the real living wage makes a real difference, you feel wanted and appreciated and it motivates you to do more and become better in what you do. Personally, I would love to see every family we work with earning a just amount as it makes people feel better about themselves.

“Knowing you're working for a Living Wage Employer definitely boosts morale and, knowing you are getting paid what you should, makes you want to work even harder."

Sameea works for Aspire & Succeed, in Birmingham, and is part of the Local Conversation in Lozells project funded by People's Health Trust using money raised through Health Lottery West Midlands.

Find out more about the difference being paid the Living Wage can make.

Read more about the Living Wage campaign.

Become a Living Wage employer.

Become a Living Wage Funder.


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