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What is the REAL Living Wage?

Updated: Feb 27

Logo of living wage foundation.

The real Living Wage is an independently calculated rate of pay that is based on the cost of living. At the heart of the Living Wage movement is a simple idea - that a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay.

In 2016 the government introduced a rise in the minimum wage for over 25s, they called this new statutory minimum the ‘National Living Wage’. However, this is not based on the real cost of living. That’s why thousands of UK employers have voluntarily committed to going further, by paying all their staff the real Living Wage.

The real Living Wage is based on the actual cost of living, taking into account the cost of housing, food, travel and other essentials. It enjoys cross party support and is paid by thousands of employers, including over one third of the FTSE 100.

Living Wage Foundation Recognised Service Providers – ending low pay one contract at a time.

We are a Recognised Service Provider proudly working with the Living Wage Foundation to promote the real Living Wage. We believe in paying a decent wage to our staff, who carry out vital work for many organisations, and therefore always provide a Living Wage costed bid to all our clients. This gives you the chance to decide if the Living Wage is right for your organisation.

Living wage table.

Low Pay In The Service Sector

Full time workers on the real Living Wage earn £35 a week more than over 25s on the government minimum, or £90 a week in London. Cleaning, security, catering and other service professions have some of the highest levels of low pay in the UK, 83% of waiting staff and 70% of cleaners earn below the Living Wage. We want to change our industry for the better, and that’s why we champion the real Living Wage through our contracts. By accepting our Living Wage costed bid, you’ll be making a huge difference to workers like Jodie.

“As a single parent, there isn’t always a great deal of money left over once the bills have been paid. The living wage has allowed me to regularly pay into a savings account which my son can access when he is 21. It may not be much, but it’s allowed me to help plan for his future financially.” Jodie

Benefits to Your Organisation

As well as being the right thing to do, paying the Living Wage has been proven to have business benefits. With the staff working on your premises paid the Living Wage, you can expect to see reduced absenteeism, increased staff retention and increased staff motivation. More than 80% of employers believe that the Living Wage had enhanced the quality of the work of their staff, while absenteeism had fallen by approximately 25%.

Becoming a Living Wage Employer

By paying the Living Wage on this contract, you’re one step closer to being able to accredit as a Living Wage Employer. Living Wage Employers pay all their directly employed staff the real Living Wage and commit to ensure all their third party contracted workers are also paid this rate. There are now over 4,500 Living Wage Employers including organisations like IKEA, Nationwide, Oxfam, ITV, Nestle, Aviva and LUSH. If you’d like to find out more, please go to:

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