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Record rise in UK real Living Wage to £10.90 per hour

Paloma Kubiak
Written By:
Paloma Kubiak

The real Living Wage for UK workers has increased by a record 10.1%, taking hourly wages to £10.90 to reflect the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.

The real Living Wage is a voluntary hourly pay rate based on what families need to get by.

It will rise by £1 to £10.90 per hour for workers across the UK, while for London workers, the rate will rise by 90p to £11.95.

The rates are a benchmark for employers that voluntarily go above the government-set national minimum wage which stands at £9.50 for workers aged 23 and over.

Currently 11,000 employers, with the figure doubling in the past two years – are signed up with around 400,000 workers paid the real Living Wage.

It means the new rates are now worth £2,730 more a year in the UK than the minimum wage for a full-time worker, adding £1,950 to annual pay packets. For London workers, they’re gaining £4,777.50 more than workers on the minimum wage.

The 10.1% record rate rise will take effect immediately and have been brought forward from November “in recognition of the sharp increase in living costs over the past year”.

‘Security and stability’

The rates are calculated by think tank, the Resolution Foundation, and are overseen by the Living Wage Commission on behalf of the Living Wage Foundation. They said the context for this year’s rates “has been the ongoing cost-of-living crisis” which has seen inflation reach its highest rate since the early 1980s”.

“This high inflation is the main reason for the large increase in the Living Wage rates this year,” they added.

It comes as research revealed there are 4.8 million workers paid less than the real Living Wage, with more workers than ever before skipping meals and using food banks over the past six months.

Katherine Chapman, Living Wage Foundation director, said: “With living costs rising so rapidly, millions are facing an awful ‘heat or eat’ choice this winter – that’s why a real Living Wage is more vital than ever. Today’s new rates will provide hundreds of thousands of workers and their families with greater security and stability during these incredibly difficult times.

“We are facing unprecedented challenges with the cost-of-living crisis, but businesses continue to step up and support workers by signing up to the Living Wage in record numbers. We know that the Living Wage is good for employers as well as workers, that’s why it must continue to be at the heart of solutions to tackle the cost-of-living crisis.”