Wages will increase for thousands of workers as the rate for the real Living Wage rises to £12 across the UK and £13.15 in London.
The Living Wage Foundation has announced an increase of 10 per cent to the Living Wage, meaning an increase of £1.10 per hour across the UK and £1.20 an hour in London.
The announcement will support almost 460,000 people employed at Living Wage accredited employers in the UK. Paying the Living Wage helps people heat their homes, eat well and afford bills, all things which have a direct impact on physical and mental health.
The rise in the real Living Wage reflects the sharply rising cost of living, which has caused significant financial hardship and particularly affects those on low incomes. Last month, Living Wage Foundation research found that among 2,000 workers earning less than the real Living Wage, half were worse off than they were a year ago, which a majority directly attributed to the cost of living crisis. More than half of respondents (52 per cent) reported worse mental health as a result of their low rate of pay, and 50 per cent reported a worsening of their quality of life. Roughly four in ten low paid workers (39 per cent) said financial hardship had impacted their social connections: particularly their relationships with friends and family members.
More than half of low paid workers said receiving a pay rise in line with the cost of living would have a positive impact on their quality of life, relationships, and their mental and physical health.
While wages in the UK are now growing and surpassing inflation, those earning the lowest ten percent of income (around £750 per month) have seen smaller rises than those earning more, driving increasing income inequality at a time of significant financial hardship. One in eight jobs are paid less than the real Living Wage. According to Living Wage Foundation projections, the scale of low pay is predicted to increase in 2023.
The real Living Wage is independently calculated based on the basic cost of living in the UK and in London. The government’s minimum wage, the National Living Wage (NLW), is currently set at £10.42 per hour, and due to rise to over £11 by April 2024. The NLW does not apply to those in apprenticeships and people aged 16-23. The real Living Wage applies to everyone over the age of 18.
Low pay has a significant and long-term negative impact on health and wellbeing. People’s Health Trust is a principal partner of Living Wage Foundation and is one of the funders supporting Living Wage Places. We are also a member of the Living Wage Advisory Council and helped found the Living Wage Funders scheme to help end low pay in the voluntary and community sector.