Real Living Wage benefits 3K businesses and their workers. Let’s make it 30K next year
The new Living Wage rates for London and the rest of the UK will be announced at 9.30 this morning. The announcement will also be made simultaneously in Glasgow, Cardiff and Manchester. I shall be at the London launch with the Mayor, Sadiq Khan.
The real Living Wage provides a widely supported minimum voluntary decency standard that is set at a significantly higher rate than the government’s national living wage.
Rather confusingly, the latter is actually the name given to the statutory national minimum wage rate for workers aged 25 and above that was introduced earlier this year. Imitation is sometimes said to be the sincerest form of flattery, but I must confess that back in summer 2015 when George Osbourne first announced his new minimum wage rate I was a bit worried about the possible effect on the real Living Wage. I was obviously concerned that the name might cause confusion, but I’m glad to say that my fears have not been borne out
In fact, I’m expecting to hear this morning that just over 3,000 employers have now signed up for this voluntary pay standard, and undergone accreditation by the Living Wage Foundation. This would be a thousand more than last year’s total, which is very solid progress.
Those accredited include more than 30% of the leading FTSE100 companies, plus thousands of smaller businesses, charities and public sector bodies.
By all accounts it seems that many employers are still very keen to do the right thing, and the real Living Wage has continued to thrive. The real Living Wage, which is calculated according to what employees and their families need to live, provides a clear way for employers to know the right thing to do for low paid workers. It’s really helpful to have an independently calculated standard based on what working people need to earn in order to get by.
But with 6.3 million employees still paid below this standard, there can be no room for complacency, and it is clear that many employers urgently need to be steered more strongly towards the real Living Wage
Trade unions will also have a strong role to play in this. Many of those who deal with lower paid workers make the real Living Wage the bottom rate in pay claims and the standard has become a fully integrated part of our collective bargaining strategies.
Commenting on the increase, TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said:
“This is a welcome rise. Working people should have the right to expect a fair days pay for an honest day’s work.
It’s great to see another 1,000 employers signing up, but millions of families are still blighted by low pay. Good employers need to pick up the pace and adopt the real Living Wage.
The fight for decent pay won’t be won just by employer goodwill, however. We also need strong unions who can negotiate with employers and win fair pay for their members too, alongside a rise in the Government minimum.
Unlike the government’s minimum wage, this real Living Wage is based on a review of the evidence on what is happening to people’s living standards right now. The Living Wage Commission has used a robust single approach to calculating what people need to live in London and the UK.”
This interactive map shows you where you can find employers who pay the real Living Wage.