Voluntary living wage rises to £8.45 an hour

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The UK voluntary living wage has increased to £8.45 an hour, and the London living wage rate has risen to £9.75 an hour.

The voluntary living wage has increased by 2.4% from £8.25 to £8.45. The new UK living wage rate is now 17% higher than the national living wage rate of £7.20 an hour, which is the statutory rate for individuals over the age of 25.

The London living wage has increased by 3.7% from £9.40 an hour to £9.75, in order to reflect the high cost of living in the city.

The Living Wage Foundation’s living wage rate is paid on a voluntary basis to staff aged 18 and over. It is designed to ensure that employees across the UK can meet the basic cost of living.

The new rates have been announced as part of Living Wage Week (30 October-5 November). Living wage employers are encouraged to implement the new rates as soon as possible and by 1 May 2017 at the latest.

Almost 1,000 organisations in London have committed to paying staff the London living wage, with more than 300 businesses signing up to the scheme this year. Across the rest of the UK, 1,000 organisations have agreed to pay the living wage to employees over the last 12 months, bringing the total number of accredited living wage employers to almost 3,000.

Sadiq Khan, mayor of London, said: “Our economy continues to grow and for the first time in London’s history we now have over one million businesses based here. It’s essential that hard-working Londoners, who keep this city going, are rewarded for their integral role in this success.

“Paying the London living wage is not just the right and moral thing to do, it makes good business sense too. As many employers already accredited know, the benefits are clear; including increased productivity and reduced staff turnover.”

Nicola Sturgeon, first minister for Scotland, added: “The new living wage of £8.45 will be a welcome pay rise for thousands of Scottish workers and ensures people’s basic wage continues to meet the real costs of living.

“For business, paying the living wage makes sense; it’s an investment in people and all the evidence shows it leads to increased productivity and reduced staff absences and turnover, while sending a strong signal to customers about fairness.”