Nearly 400,000 workers in the UK whose employers have pledged to pay real living wages are awaiting a record pay rise as the charity that sets the rate approved a raise to 10.90 £ per hour outside London.
The Living Wage Foundation said it was launching the annual increase two months ahead of schedule and recommended its biggest increase yet in recognition of the intense pressure on households from soaring energy prices and the highest inflation rate in 40 years.
The Living Wage – which is paid by more than 11,000 employers including Aviva, Ikea, Burberry and Lush – will rise by £1 to £10.90 an hour across the UK, and by 90p to 11.95 £ per hour in London.
Calculated by what people need to live on, the rate is above the national living wage of £9.50 set by the government for workers aged 23 and over. The Living Wage Foundation said its 10.1% rise for workers outside London was the biggest in its 11-year history.
Inflation in the UK exceeded 10% in July for the first time since the early 1980s, fueled by soaring petrol prices and energy bills, as well as the rising cost of electricity. a weekly store. The overall rate fell slightly to 9.9% in August, but is expected to rise further in October after a sharp rise in energy bills.
The announcement comes as average wage growth in the UK has not kept pace with the rising cost of living, with workers suffering the biggest real impact on the average wage for 20 years. Annual regular wage growth was 5.5% in the three months to June – stronger than before the pandemic as companies struggled to recruit workers, but still significantly lower than the surge in inflation .
Some workers have enjoyed stronger wage growth than others. While public sector workers saw their wages increase by 2% on average, those in the private sector saw increases of 6% – the biggest difference ever.
An estimated 4.8 million workers in Britain are paid less than the actual living wage, and there is evidence of a rise in the number of workers skipping meals and using food banks.
Katherine Chapman, director of the Living Wage Foundation, said: “With the cost of living rapidly rising, millions face a dire ‘heat or eat’ choice this winter – which is why a true living wage is more vital than ever. Today’s new rates today will provide hundreds of thousands of workers and their families with greater security and stability in these incredibly difficult times.
“We are facing unprecedented challenges with the cost of living crisis, but companies are continuing to step in and support workers by signing up to the living wage in record numbers. We know living wages are good for employers and workers alike, which is why real living wages must continue to be at the heart of solutions to address the cost of living crisis.