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Pay boost for workers as voluntary real living wage increases

The Living Wage Foundation said the new rates will give a ‘boost to hundreds of thousands of UK workers’.

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The Living Wage Foundation has announced new pay rates (Living Wage Foundation/PA)

The Living Wage Foundation has announced new pay rates (Living Wage Foundation/PA)

The Living Wage Foundation has announced new pay rates (Living Wage Foundation/PA)

The voluntary real living wage is to increase to £10.85 an hour in London and £9.50 across the rest of the UK, giving a pay rise for more than 250,000 workers.

The new rates, announced by the Living Wage Foundation, are an increase of 10p in the capital and 20p elsewhere, and will be paid by almost 7,000 employers.

More than 800 employers have accredited with the foundation since the start of the virus crisis, including Tate and Lyle, Network Rail, and the All England Lawn Tennis Club.

These organisations join two-fifths of FTSE 100 companies, football clubs, banks, Brewdog and thousands of small businesses who are paying their staff the voluntary rate, which is above the statutory minimum.

It’s an incredibly challenging time for us all, but today’s new living wage rates will give a boost to hundreds of thousands of UK workersLiving Wage Foundation

The foundation said since its rates were launched in 2011, more than £1.3 billion in extra wages has gone to workers and families.

The voluntary rate is now 78p an hour more than the Government minimum wage for over 25-year-olds and the London living wage is £2.13 an hour higher.

A full-time worker paid the new £9.50 real living wage will receive more than £1,500 in additional wages a year compared with the current Government minimum, said the foundation.

New research by the Living Wage Foundation estimated that 5.5 million jobs – one in five of the total – pay less than the real living wage.

Laura Gardiner, Living Wage Foundation director, said: “It’s an incredibly challenging time for us all, but today’s new living wage rates will give a boost to hundreds of thousands of UK workers, including thousands of key and essential workers like cleaners, care workers, and delivery drivers who have kept our economy going.

“Since the start of the pandemic, employers have continued to sign up to a real living wage. These are the employers that will allow us to recover and rebuild from this crisis.”

The Archbishop of York, the Most Revd Stephen Cottrell, said: “Throughout this pandemic, we have depended on those of us who have selflessly put their work ahead of their own health and wellbeing for the continued functioning of our society.

“Over the past few months, we have recognised and applauded their fantastic work.

“Now it is time we do the morally right thing and follow this recognition with well-deserved reward, paying them what they need to live. It is right to be paid a fair day’s wage.”

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “People who work for a living ought to earn a decent living. Yet many of the key workers getting us through this crisis – such as carers, supermarket staff and delivery drivers – earn less than the real living wage.”

Unison’s assistant general secretary Christina McAnea said: “While some 250,000 low-paid workers will get a wage rise today, many others on the Covid frontline will be less fortunate.

“Care staff working in homes and out in the community remain stuck on poverty pay, despite vital work supporting society’s most vulnerable throughout the pandemic.”

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