UK ‘living wage’ increase to be brought forward to September

According to the foundation that sets pay levels for low-wage workers, the change is due to the 'unprecedented' rate at which costs are rising.

31 May 2022| News

Employers that agree to pay the voluntary “living wage” in the UK are being encouraged to give their employees a pay raise sooner rather than later to keep up with rising costs and electricity bills, as inflation is forecast to hit double digits in the autumn.

On Sunday, the Living Wage Foundation, a charity that campaigns for fair pay, said that it would be bringing its new 2022-23 rate announcement forward to September, in response to the rising cost of living. 

The new rates are typically announced in November as part of Living Wage Week, but in response to an unprecedented rise in the cost of living, the Living Wage Foundation has decided to bring the rate announcement forward to September, outside of Living Wage Week. Employers will be encouraged to pay staff the rate as soon as possible. 

The real Living Wage is the only UK wage rate based on the cost of living. The Living Wage rates are calculated annually using a robust methodology and based on the best available data. The rate is currently £9.90 in the UK and a higher rate of £11.05 to reflect the higher cost of living in the capital. 

The Foundation boasts over 10,000 accredited Living Wage employers, including large organisations like Google, Everton FC and Burberry, to thousands of small-to-medium sized businesses. Accredited employers commit to always paying their staff, including contracted workers, a wage in line with the cost of living. 

Katherine Chapman, Director of the Living Wage Foundation, said:

“The real Living Wage is the UK’s only wage rate independently calculated to meet the cost of living and, for workers struggling to keep their heads above water as prices surge, it’s more important than ever before. That’s why, with the rate of inflation fast approaching double figures, we are bringing forward the annual announcement of the 2022-23 Living Wage rates to late September.

Over 10,000 employers have already made the commitment to do right by their staff and pay a wage in line with living costs. In addition to paying the Living Wage, it has been brilliant to see Living Wage Employers leading the way with many creative and impactful initiatives to support staff with the cost of living over the past few months.

Rising prices are eating away at all of us, but nobody is feeling the pinch more than the 4.8 million low paid workers across the UK. It’s never been more important that employers who can afford it protect those who will be most affected by price rises by paying a wage based on the cost of living.”