Living Wage Week 2021

15 November 2021

Living Wage Week 2021 took place during the week starting Monday 15 November, with new rates being announced for the real Living Wage.

People’s Health Trust is a principle partner of Living Wage Foundation, a member of the Living Wage Advisory Council and is one of the funders supporting Living Wage Places. The Trust also helped found the Living Wage Funders scheme to help end low pay in the voluntary and community sector.

The real Living Wage is calculated based on the best available evidence about the living standards in London and the rest of the UK. The research uses the Minimum Income Standard to identify everyday living costs through public consensus.

The new real Living Wage for 2021 is £9.90 across the UK and £11.05 in London. New rates are announced on Monday of the first week of November each year.

The government’s National Living Wage is lower than the real Living Wage as it is calculated based on median earnings. This rate does not ensure everyone can afford a decent standard of living and it does not apply to people in apprenticeships or those aged 16 – 23.

Paying the real Living Wage has tangible impacts on people’s health. People need sufficient income to live healthily, including being able to buy quality affordable food, pay their bills and afford household essentials.

Being out of work or being in low-paid employment has a significant and long-term negative impact on your physical and mental health and wellbeing. People with lower incomes are more likely to report their health as ‘bad’ or ‘very bad’.

The link between health and wealth is clear. In England and Wales people living in neighbourhoods experiencing the highest levels of disadvantage will, on average, die eight years younger, and will spend 18.5 years more of their shortened lives in ill health. In Scotland the life expectancy gap is 10 years for women and 13 years for men.

However, positive impacts from Living Wage Foundation’s 20 years of campaigning continue to be felt by people across the UK. Around 9,000 UK businesses have become accredited Living Wage employers and almost 300,000 employees have received a pay rise as a result of the Living Wage campaign.

Living Wage Places, which is partially funded by People’s Health Trust, has helped achieve a pay boost for thousands of people. Off the back of the scheme, Greater Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham, has outlined plans to make Greater Manchester the first UK region to pay all employees a living wage by the end of the decade.

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