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Living Wage set to rise

11th Dec 2013

The UK Living Wage rate, which is voluntary and not binding on employers, has been increased by 20p to £7.65 an hour.  It is expected that more than 30,000 low paid workers will receive a pay rise worth up to £400 a year as a result.

The living wage is much higher than the legal UK minimum wage of £6.31 an hour.

In London the Living Wage rate has been increased by 25p to £8.80 an hour.

A total of 431 employers have signed up to pay the rate to their employees, up from only 78 last year.

Firms signed up to the voluntary scheme include Barclays, Oxfam, Legal and General and the National Portrait Gallery.

Director of the Living Wage Foundation, Rhys Moore, said the living wage had become “a must-have badge of honour for employers”.

“By looking out for the Living Wage badge, you can now choose to support businesses that are doing the right thing.  It works just like Fairtrade and will grow even faster with consumer support,” he added.

Dominic Johnson, employee relations director at Barclays, said paying the rate had improved retentions rates for its cleaners.

“Early research on the impact of the living wage for cleaners on Barclays’ contracts shows our suppliers have 92% retention rate versus an industry average of 35%,” he said.

The living wage is set independently each year, based on the basic cost of living in the UK.

The new rates were announced at the start of Living Wage Week, which encourages businesses to embrace the voluntary rate for the good of their workers and themselves.

Previously, Labour leader Ed Miliband has claimed that if his party won the next election, it would offer firms a 12-month tax break in 2016 if they agreed to pay the living wage to their employees.