Employee RelationsNews

Study finds a fifth of UK employees earn under the real living wage

A study conducted by the Living Wage Foundation has found that 20.3% of jobs across the UK were paid below the real living wage in April 2020.

The results come as the national real living wage was increased by 20p to £9.50 per hour, with London also seeing a 10p rise to £10.85, therefore putting more jobs at risk of falling below the real living wage line.

Nonetheless, the national living wage remains at £8.72 an hour, thus leading 5.5 million UK jobs to be paid under the real living wage.

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The foundation also reported that 93% of employers who implemented the real living wage benefitted from doing so, while 86% saw an improvement in the company’s reputation.

Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, called on businesses to cash in on the “win-win” situation that is paying staff the real living wage.

He said: “What I’m asking other employers to do today, those in the public sector and private sector, who aren’t yet paying the living wage – about 20% of Londoners don’t yet receive a London Living Wage – is for them to look at the evidence. 

“The evidence is if you’re a Living Wage employer – increased productivity, better staff retention and better staff morale so it’s a win-win.”

Also announced via the study was that women (23.8%) are more likely than men (16.6%) to be paid under the real living wage. 

Those in the hospitality industry were the group most affected by low pay with 70.8% of workers’ wages falling below the UK’s real living wage.

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