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Real living wage increases to £12 in cost of living boost

Real living wage employers include Ikea, Aviva and Everton FC -

The Living Wage Foundation’s 'real living wage' has risen to £12 an hour across the UK, a £1.10 increase.

In London, it has increased by £1.20 to £13.15 an hour.

Unlike the government-set national living wage, the 'real living wage' is a voluntary rate of pay that employers can choose to give to their staff. 

Over 460,000 people working for the 14,000 real living wage employers will receive this pay rise.

Living Wage Foundation research found 60% of those earning below the real living wage have visited a food bank in the past year and 39% are regularly skipping meals for financial reasons.

Read more: Majority of jobs below living wage held by women

Katherine Chapman, director of the Living Wage Foundation, said the cost of living crisis continues to have devastating effects on low-paid workers.

She told HR magazine: “As inflation eases, it’s important to remember that low-paid workers remain at the sharp end of price rises. That’s why today’s new real living wage rates are a lifeline for the 460,000 workers who will get a pay rise.”

The government’s national living wage is £10.42, following an increase in April 2023. Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has announced that this will rise to £11 in April 2024.

A full-time worker on the new, real living wage rate would earn £3,081 a year more than a worker earning the current government minimum. 

In London, a full-time worker on the new real living wage rate would earn an additional £5,323.50 more than on the government rate.

Read more: 2023 statutory pay rise cheat sheet: everything HR needs to know

Brett Mendell, director at textiles company Thomas Kneale, a real living wage employer, said comfortable pay increases productivity and retention.

He said: “Our team reports lower stress and reduced financial anxiety, a higher standard of living, and a lift in morale. 

“We have also seen productivity improvements while delivering a labour turnover reduction of 60% and a staff absence decrease of 75% since we became accredited in 2015.”