Redcar MP Anna Turley has today, at the start of Living Wage Week, joined calls for employers to pay their staff wages which are at least high enough to meet the cost of living.
This follows an announcement today by the Living Wage Foundation of a new independently-calculated Living Wage rate of £8.45 per hour for workers outside of London. This is £1.25 an hour more than the Government’s ‘national living wage’ of £7.20 which came into effect in April.
New research by KPMG shows some 5.6 million people across the UK are paid less than the real Living Wage – that is 1 in 5 working people.
“In recent years, wages for lots of people have fallen behind the cost of living. This is bad for the families affected, many of whom have to reply on tax credits to top up their income or work second jobs.
“Paying staff a real living wage is not only fairer for them but makes good business sense because the evidence shows it leads to increased productivity and reduced staff turnover. Being a Living Wage accredited employer is also a great sign to customers that they are buying from a company which values fairness.
“It is great to see more businesses are committing to paying their staff more than the government’s minimum wage and I hope many others will be encouraged to join them. The Government must also do more through initiatives like tax breaks to promote better pay, especially in sectors where raising wages would be difficult.”
Since last year’s Living Wage Week, nearly 1000 employers have signed up as accredited Living Wage organisations taking the total to nearly 3000.
To find out more about signing up as a Living Wage employer, visit: http://www.livingwage.org.uk/