90% of employers think living wage is high enough

living wage rateEmployee Benefits poll: Nine out of 10 (90%) people think the living wage rate is high enough in the current climate.

Conversely, 10% of respondents to an online survey conducted by Employee Benefits said that they think the living wage is not high enough considering current events impacting employees’ financial wellbeing.

Earlier this month, the government announced that it will raise the national living wage by 9.7% from April 2023. Chancellor of the exchequer Jeremy Hunt stated in his autumn budget address to the House of Commons that he had accepted recommendations made by the Low Pay Commission to increase the national living wage to £10.42 for 2023, representing a pay rise of more than £1,600 for the average full-time employee.

The national living wage is the rate set by the government as a legal minimum for employees aged above 23, set at £9.50 per hour for 2022. According to the government, this measure is likely to benefit more than two million of the lowest-paid employees in the UK and is part of its attempts to reach a national living wage rate of two-thirds of median UK earnings by 2024.

Hunt said: “This government introduced the national living wage, which has been a giant step in eliminating low pay…[this] is the largest increase in the UK’s national living wage ever.”

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Alan Price, chief executive officer of BrightHR, added: “While the increase is welcome news for employees, many will still struggle as inflation and the cost-of-living continues to put pressure on household incomes. As such, employers should ensure there is wider support in place to facilitate positive financial wellbeing.”