What Is The Real Living Wage?

Let’s just jump back to basics – what is the Living Wage? The real Living Wage is the base pay recommended to be paid to all employees based on the actual living costs across the UK; and it’s something that employers need to be taking notice of as part of their employee relationship building and employer branding! 

The Government provide a mandatory minimum wage guide for both under and over 25’s, which comes in at £7.38 and £7.83, however the Living Wage is an alternative, realistic suggestion of the amount all over 18’s should be paid, inside and outside of London, taking into account realistic, modern living costs.  This wage is not enforced by any authority but the Living Wage foundation works tirelessly to educate and convert employers so that they might adopt this voluntary wage of either £9.00 (across the Uk) or £10.55 (London).


Why Is It So Important?

The basic amount that employees and their families need to live is not covered by £7.83, the wage laid down by the Government.  This also does not account for the difference in living costs between the majority of the UK and London, where prices and living costs are significantly higher.  Companies and organisations who can afford to, are encouraged to take up the voluntary act and offer their employees the UK/London Living Wage; it should be seen as part of your total workforce management, to provide employees with the best wage possible. 

“Employers that pay the real Living Wage enable their workers to live a life of dignity, supporting them to pay off debts and meet the pressures of rising bills.” Living Wage Foundation Director, Tess Lanning.  Already, some of the big players are leading by example, Google, ITV, Nationwide and Ikea are all on board and providing their employees with the Living Wage.

As an employer, if you can work towards offering the real Living Wage, aside from giving your employees the means to live, you’ll be enhancing your employer branding, branding yours as an organisation who strives to look after their employees.

Real Living Wage

Why We’re Talking About It

Well, every year the Living Wage Foundation celebrates Living Wage Week (#LivingWageWeek), raising and encouraging conversation around the topic. During this week, the latest Living Wage rates are announced, events are held up and down the country and as many employers as possible are encouraged to take the necessary steps to joining the movement and providing the real Living Wage to their whole workforce!


So, here are the highlights from this Living Wage Week 2018:

  • The new rate for the Uk has risen by 25p per hour to £9 per hour (£1.17 per hour above the government mandatory minimum wage)
  • The new London Living Wage has risen by 35p to £10.55 per hour (£2.72 per hour above the government mandatory minimum wage)
  • Over 1,200 employers have taken notice over the past year and now pay the Living Wage.
  • Still, over a fifth of jobs pay less than the real Living Wage

As ever, educating ourselves, spreading the word, the facts and figures on the topic and the work that the Living Wage Foundation do, not only during this week, but all year round, are the first steps in working towards solving the pay gap currently being experienced in the UK. If you’re looking to learn more about the movement or becoming a Living Wage employer and improving your employer branding, you’ll find all the information you need here.

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