Understanding The UK Living Wage

When it comes to working and earning money in the UK, you may come across the “Living Wage” – if you haven’t already! But what does it actually mean?

The Living Wage is an hourly rate that is set independently and updated on an annual basis. It’s calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK – the minimum amount that someone could realistically survive on.

Currently, the UK Living Wage is set at £8.25 per hour. In London, this is bumped up to £9.40 per hour due to the higher cost of living in the capital – as you can imagine! The Living Wage is backed by the government and is expected to rise nationally to £9 per hour by 2020. This is compared to the National Minimum Wage, which is set at £6.70 for workers aged 21 and over.

Unlike the National Minimum Wage, which is the lowest hourly rate as a legal requirement, the Living Wage is paid by employers on a voluntary basis – it isn’t a legal requirement – and you would benefit for working for an employer that agrees to pay the Living Wage as a result. Paying the Living Wage is acknowledged as good for business, individuals and society with high quality of work, a positive consumer reputation and low turnover of work force.

Companies that pay the Living Wage as a minimum include Barclays, British Gas, Lush, HSBC, Oxfam, Action Aid, Aviva, Legal & General, Lloyds Bank, Santander, Unicef and Richer Sounds.

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Photo by Christiann Koepke on Unsplash

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