The benefitting workers are employed by London’s 3,500 organisations signed up to the Living Wage Foundation (LWF). The foundation sets a new ‘real living wage’ every year, which is higher than the Government’s national living wage. The latter used to be called the ‘minimum wage’.
The LWF says its ‘real living wage’ is a more accurate calculation of rising living costs – and it sets a special rate for London workers to reflect the capital’s higher prices. Outside London, the rate is increasing from £10.90 to £12.
Mayor Sadiq Khan – who chairs the Making London a Living Wage City project – said this year’s 10% increase is “the biggest jump ever” for the LWF’s London Living Wage. He added:
“It’s vital that we also see an increase in Government support, especially for small and micro businesses, for whom paying a London Living Wage can be a challenge.”
Employers signed up to the LWF include Aviva, Burberry and IKEA.
According to the foundation, there are 3.5 million workers in the UK who earn less than their ‘real living wage’, and 575,000 in London. Recent LWF research shows that despite inflation easing, 60 per cent of these low-paid workers say they have used a foodbank in the past year and 39 per cent regularly skip meals for financial reasons.
LWF director Katherine Chapman said:
“During these tough economic times, it is heartening that record numbers of employers are signing up to join the Living Wage movement, protecting everyone who works for them – including cleaners – from rising prices and seeing the benefits of a more motivated and engaged workforce.