Living wage Increases to £7.85 per hour

5 November 2014

The UK living wage is to increase by 20p to £7.85 per hour, with the London living wage set to rise to £9.15 per hour. This follows a report from KPMG released earlier this week which revealed that 5.28 million people in the UK are paid less than the living wage.

The Living Wage Foundation has identified employees in retail, catering and the care sector as among the 22 per cent who are ‘clustered around the minimum wage pay levels’. In his announcement about the rise in the London Living Wage, Boris Johnson encouraged hospitality and retail sectors to sign up to the voluntary scheme along with 400 other businesses, reports The Independent.

It has also been announced that Brent Council in London will be the first to offer financial incentives to companies who agree to pay the new living wage. Rhys Moore, Director of the Living Wage Foundation said to The Independent that: “I hope Brent can set the standard and other authorities will follow their excellent example in implementing policy initiatives to show their commitment to the living wage.”

Polly Toynbee reports on the Citizens UK March which took place in London to launch the living wage campaign. The campaign has pressured more than a thousand businesses to pay the national living wage but Toynbee states that the increase will only effect around 60,000 people, drawing attention to the increasing gender pay gap, overall shrinking pay, underpaid outsourced workers and the prevalence of zero-hour contracts. See The Guardian for her article in full.