Real living wage: rates increase to £10.90 across UK to give workers pay boost amid rising cost of living

The Living Wage Foundation has brought forward its November rate rise due to the rising cost of living

Increases in the voluntary real living wage have been brought forward, giving a pay boost to some 400,000 workers.

The hourly rates are rising by £1 to £10.90 across the UK and by 90p to £11.95 in London.

The rates are higher than the statutory £9.50 an hour for adults, and are paid by more than 11,000 employers accredited by the Living Wage Foundation.

Increases in the voluntary real living wage have been brought forward (Photo: Adobe)

The foundation, which sets the hourly rates that employers can opt in to, has brought forward the announcement of its November rate rise in recognition of the sharp increase in living costs over the past year.

Katherine Chapman, Living Wage Foundation director, said: “With living costs rising so rapidly, millions are facing an awful ‘heat or eat’ choice this winter – that’s why a real living wage is more vital than ever.

“Today’s new rates will provide hundreds of thousands of workers and their families with greater security and stability during these incredibly difficult times.

“We are facing unprecedented challenges with the cost-of-living crisis, but businesses continue to step up and support workers by signing up to the Living Wage in record numbers. We know that the Living Wage is good for employers as well as workers, that’s why the real living wage must continue to be at the heart of solutions to tackle the cost-of-living crisis.”

What is the real living wage?

The real living wage is a voluntary rate of pay independently calculated against the cost of living and rising costs, including rent, fuel, energy and food.

The number of real living wage employers has more than doubled in the past two years, including major new names such as the Royal Albert Hall, Aston University, and the ExCel Centre.

These employers join half of the FTSE 100 companies, including Aviva, Everton FC, Ikea, Burberry and Lush, as well as thousands of small businesses.

There are now also 39 “living hours” employers, including Aviva and West Bromwich Building Society, going beyond the real living wage to provide a guaranteed minimum of 16 hours work a week and a month’s notice of shift patterns.

‘Government must follow suit’

Trade union Unison has called on the government to follow the foundation’s lead and bring forward an increase to the national minimum wage ahead of April to help workers cope with soaring household costs.

Unison general secretary Christina McAnea said: “Low-paid workers are crying out for help. The government must follow the foundation’s lead and bring forward an increase to the national minimum wage without delay. Waiting until April would be foolish.

“Ensuring everyone is paid at least £15 an hour would be a lifeline for millions barely coping with eye-watering household costs.

“Rather than boosting bankers’ bonuses, the government should concentrate on those feeling genuine financial pain.”

GMB official Rachel Harrison added: “The fact tens of thousands of NHS workers, school staff, local government workers and care staff aren’t even paid a living wage should be a badge of national shame.

“What kind of society do we want to live in? Do we want to make sure those who look after us can feed their children and keep a roof over their head? Or do we want to let already wealthy bankers enjoy uncontrolled bonuses in some vague bid to ‘boost the city’?”