67% of employees on low pay see salary cut due to pandemic

More than two-thirds (67%) of full-time, below-living-wage employees said their pay had been lowered for reasons related to the pandemic over the past year, according to a new report by The Living Wage Foundation.

Life On Low Pay, a new report by The Living Wage Foundation, has revealed the depressing plight of staff earning less than the real living wage, and is calling on employers to do more.

The report surveyed 2,126 working adults earning less than £10.85 in London and £9.50 everywhere else. It specifically asked workers about the impact their low wages had on them during the year impacted by Covid-19 (Coronavirus).

The report found that the number of employees who experienced a pay cut rose to 74% among parents; 77% among those aged 18-34, and impacted 82% from Bame groups.

Overall the research found 20% of respondents reported they had fallen behind with their rent or mortgage, while 44% said the pay they received negatively affected their overall quality of life.

The report said: “It is crystal clear the coronavirus pandemic has had a larger impact on the earnings and job prospects of lower paid workers.”

It added: “A quarter of workers we polled had been furloughed on reduced pay over the past year, while one in eight experienced pay falls associated with sickness or self isolation.”

The Living Wage Foundation said employers must do more to raise the pay of their workers, especially because the cost would not be as high as they might think.

The report found 70% of employees would stay with their employer longer if their pay was upgraded from the minimum wage to the Living Wage. Some 68% said a rise to minimum wage would see them  speak more positively about their employer to others. For 61% of respondents, a rise in pay would also make them either work harder, more efficiently or more productively.

Significantly, the research revealed raising the pay of staff would reduce anxiety, a proven cause of sickness absence. It revealed 46% of respondents claimed their pay negatively impacted their stress and anxiety.

For 34% of respondents, their low pay was said to negatively impact the relationships they had with close friends, while for 31% of parents low pay was said to negatively impact the relationship staff had with their children.