UK living wage increases - if employers take part
25 November 2014
This voluntary wage is now 21% higher than the compulsory National Minimum Wage, which is currently £6.50 an hour. The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, announced that the rate for the capital will rise from £8.80 per hour to £9.15. Accounting firm KPMG published research on 3 November which noted that 22% of the working population earns less than the 2013 Living Wage, which was set at £7.65 an hour.
The Living Wage is set by the business secretary on the advice of the Low Pay Commission and announced in the first week of November of each year during Living Wage Week. This year it has been adopted by more than 1,000 employers across the country and will benefit 35,000 workers. Firms that have signed up include Barclays, Standard Life, the National Portrait Gallery and many local councils and charities such as Save the Children. According to Citizens UK, the community organisation behind the Living Wage project, the number of companies paying the rate has more than doubled in the past year.
However, not everybody sees the Living Wage as a good thing. The Institute of Directors believes that some employers might have difficulties in meeting this extra salary cost and also stated that it would rather concentrate on keeping people in work, even on lower wages. The Federation of Small Businesses said that while it supported the Living Wage, it should remain a voluntary goal.
If you are a business owner and would like to pay your employees the Living Wage, then we are here to offer advice.