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Pay rise for thousands

Real living wage rises to £9 per hour for 180,000 workers


Insurance company Aviva is among the firms signed up


Those working for employers who have voluntarily signed up to the real Living Wage will enjoy a 2.8% pay rise this week to £9 an hour from £8.75.

The real living wage is calculated, to take into account the cost of feeding, clothing and housing themselves.

It differs from the compulsory National Living Wage which is currently £7.83 an hour for anyone over the age of 25 and the National Minimum Wage.

Real Living Wage employees in London will receive an extra 3.4%, bringing the minimum hourly rate to £10.55.

About 180,000 employees qualify for the real living wage from 4,700 employers across the UK who are signed up to the agreement. They include large companies including IKEA, Aviva, Nationwide Building Society and Google.

In Scotland, water retailer Wave is a signatory. Tony Donnelly chairman of Wave, says in an article for Daily Business: “It makes absolute business sense and is good for the employee, the economy and society as a whole.”

These companies also have to pay the real living wage to any sub-contractors.

Living Wage Foundation director Tess Lanning said: “Employers that pay the real Living Wage enable their workers to live a life of dignity, supporting them to pay off debts and meet the pressures of rising bills.

“We want to see local councils, universities, football clubs, bus companies and the other major public and private sector employers in every city commit to become real Living Wage employers.”

However, research by KPMG shows the number of jobs paying less that the real living wage has risen slightly to 22% against 21% in 2017.

It said 5.75 million workers earn less than the Living Wage, up from 4.87 million five years ago.

Workers in Scotland do better than the national average with 19% of employees earning under the Living Wage, compared to 22% across the UK as a whole.

Scotland has the lowest proportion of female workers earning under the Living Wage at 22%, compared to 27% across the UK.

However, part-time workers in Scotland are twice as likely to be paid below the Living Wage, with 37% below the threshold compared to 11% of full-time workers.

Jenny Stewart, Partner at KPMG in Scotland, said: “Scotland still has 435,000 workers paid below the Living Wage, and progress seems to have stalled with 19% of the workforce paid below the Living Wage compared to 18% last year.

“While this is lower than the UK-wide average, there is still much headway to be made.”

See also:

Firms gain by becoming living wage employer

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