Increases to the real Living Wage confirmed

09 November 2020

The Living Wage Foundation has confirmed that the Real Living Wage has been increased to £10.85 in London (an increase of 10 pence), and £9.50 (an increase of 20 pence) in the rest of the UK.

These are the rates set for 2020-21 and will mean that over 250,000 individuals, working for nearly 7,000 employers, will see an increase to their wages. Data shows that, since 2011, more than £1.3 billion in extra wages has been directed to low-paid workers, with £800 million of that sent to those working in key worker industries. Approximately £200 million has been awarded to low-paid workers since the start of lockdown.

Research carried out by the Living Wage Foundation indicates that a fifth of employees, or 5.5 million staff, are still paid below the level of the real Living Wage. Living Wage rates are calculated independently and are determined on the basis of the amounts that people need to live on, to cover their everyday needs. They are not to be confused with the National Living Wage (NLW) rates that are set out by the Government each year, which must be paid by employers to the majority of staff aged 25 and over. The current rate for tax year 2020-21 is £8.72 per hour. The UK real Living Wage rate is 78 pence higher per hour than the NLW, and the London Living Wage is £2.13 more per hour.

More than 800 employers have accredited with the Living Wage Foundation since the start of the breakout of coronavirus, and they have joined a network of nearly 7,000 businesses across the UK who have opted to pay the real Living Wage to their staff.
Living Wage Week, which runs from 9-15 November 2020 celebrates those employers that have chosen to ensure that their employees and sub-contracted staff receive the real Living Wage. The rates that have been announced should be implemented by employers as soon as possible, but within six months of the date of the announcement, meaning that employees should be receiving the new rate by 9 May 2021 at the very latest if work for an accredited Living Wage employer.


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