The Living Wage Foundation celebrate Living Wage Week 2019

12 November 2019

The Living Wage Foundation launched Living Wage Week with the publication of Real Living rates for 2019/2020.

The UK Living Wage hourly rate has seen a 30p increase to £9.30 and the London Living Wage hourly rate has benefitted with an increase of 20p to £10.75.

Living Wage Foundation Director, Katherine Chapman commented “In this time of uncertainty today’s new Living Wage rates give a boost to hundreds of thousands of UK workers. Good businesses know that the real Living Wage means happier, healthier and more motivated workers and that providing workers with financial security is not only the right thing to do but has real business benefits. This year for the first-time cities and towns have announced big plans to grow the number of Living Wage Employers in their communities. We are delighted at the ambition of Cardiff and Salford to build Living Wage cities, with Cardiff planning to double the number of workers getting the real Living Wage to nearly 50,000, freeing many more families from the low pay trap. We hope to see many more towns and cities follow suit.”

Over 210,000 workers will benefit from this increase to rate with the Living Wage Foundation reporting that the increase will widen the difference between the real Living Wage and the minimum wage to over £2,000 UK wide and almost £5,000 in London. 

KPMG recently published research findings revealing:

  • Less than one-fifth (19%) of UK jobs pay below the real Living Wage
  • The latest estimate is down from 22% last year and the lowest since 2012
  • Part-time workers are three times more likely to be paid below the threshold of £9.00 (or £10.55 in London)
  • All UK regions experience a drop in the share of jobs paying below the real Living Wage
  • Around 24% of women face in-work poverty compared to 15% of men
  • Female in-work poverty is highest in the East Midlands and lowest in Scotland

Commenting on the findings, James Stewart, Vice Chair of KPMG UK, said:

“The Brexit impasse has undoubtedly impacted the jobs market and it is clear that employers have stepped up and taken decisive action to retain and motivate their workforces.

“Over the coming period of uncertainty productivity will be key and we know that the real Living Wage is an effective driver. What’s good for our workers is good for business too and there is a real opportunity for many to look at the remuneration of their staff in terms of overall benefit to their business as well as the bottom-line.

He added:

“But we must ensure that part-time workers are not left behind – as these figures show well over a third are not benefiting from the real Living Wage. There are also far too many women who are not benefiting from these changes and over the coming year we must address this and the regional disparities which still exist.”


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