Workers employed by companies who are members of the real living wage campaign are to receive an early Christmas present.
Firms who have signed up to the voluntary scheme are to start paying their workers an extra 30p an hour throughout most of the UK, raising their hourly rate to £9.30. Workers in London will get a 20p an hour rise to £10.75.
The scheme is separate from the National Living Wage, which currently stands at £8,21 an hour for workers aged 25 and over.
The Living Wage Foundation’s ‘real pay rates’ apply to all workers over the age of 18 and are calculated using costs such as food, clothing and household bills.
The foundation says the pay rise will affect around 210,000 workers in its member organisations like Crystal Palace Football Club, Hiscox insurers, Welsh Water, London City Airport, Burberry and West Ham United.
The number of jobs paying living wage has gone up by 3%, according to a survey by KPMG, but 5.2 million jobs are still paying below the ‘living’ rate.
The difference between the two pay scales is that the National Living Wage is a legally binding hourly rate of £8.21 an hour for workers aged 25 and over. It was established by the government in April 2019 and is subject to annual review.
The ‘real living wage’ was created by the Living Wage Foundation charity because it believes the government figure is not enough to meet workers’ needs. It is currently seeking to persuade more employers to adopt its more generous calculation.
Referring to the various promises made by political parties ahead of December’s general election, Katherine Chapman – director of the Living Wage Foundation – said while it is ‘fantastic’ there is so much attention being paid to the issue: “We have always been working with businesses to take action now rather than waiting for legislation.”
Spokeswoman for scheme supporter Burberry, Pam Batty, said: “We are calling on all companies to join the pledge, as we know it will meaningfully improve the lives of their people, who are their most valuable asset.”