Real Living Wage rises by 10% for 400,000 workers

Employers that voluntarily pay the Real Living Wage are set to give their workers a record boost to their pay packets

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Almost 400,000 workers will see their hourly rate rise by 10% due to an increase in the Real Living Wage. 

The hourly rates will rise by £1 from £9.90 to £10.90 across the UK and by 90p from £11.05 to £11.95 in London. The increase was due to happen in November but is being brought forward to help ease the cost of living crisis.

The Real Living Wage  is a voluntary employers’ pay scheme that is calculated on the actual cost of living. The rates are higher than the statutory £9.50 an hour for adults, and are paid by more than 11,000 employers accredited by the Living Wage Foundation. 

Big-name employers such as the Royal Albert Hall, Aston University, Everton FC, Ikea, Burberry and Lush as well as thousands of small businesses have signed up to the scheme. You can check if your employer is signed up to the scheme on the Living Wage Foundation (opens in new tab) website.

Katherine Chapman, Living Wage Foundation director, emphasised the importance of the Real Living Wage  amid rising food, energy and fuel prices: “Today’s new rates will provide hundreds of thousands of workers and their families with greater security and stability during these incredibly difficult times.

She added: “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 the Real Living Wage  must continue to be at the heart of solutions to tackle the cost-of-living crisis.”

Others argued the living wage still falls short. TUC economics officer Afzal Rahman said: “Britain is suffering from a low pay epidemic. We urgently need to get pay rising across the economy. And we need a £15 minimum wage as soon as possible.”

Unison general secretary Christina McAnea said: “Low-paid workers are crying out for help. The Government must follow the foundation’s lead and bring forward an increase to the national minimum wage without delay. Waiting until April would be foolish. Ensuring everyone is paid at least £15 an hour would be a lifeline for millions barely coping with eye-watering household costs.”

We have guidance if you’re wanting to know how to get a pay rise. If you’re struggling with the cost of living, there is help with energy costs. Energy suppliers also have hardship funds to help their customers in need.

You can also speak to debt charities like StepChange (opens in new tab) or National Debtline (opens in new tab) if you are currently unable to pay your bills and need help.

Katie is staff writer at The Money Edit. She was the former staff writer at The Times and The Sunday Times. Her experience includes writing about personal finance, culture, travel and interviews celebrities.  Her investigative work on financial abuse resulted in a number of mortgage prisoners being set free - and a nomination for the Best Personal Finance Story of the Year in the Headlinemoney awards 2021.