Living wage rates set to increase for 2.5million workers. Millions of workers will receive a pay rise from Friday as national living wage rates increase. The Government said around 2.5 million people will benefit from the largest ever increase to the rates, putting £1,000 a year more into full-time workers’ pay packets.
The national living wage will increase by 6.6% to £9.50 an hour for adults, by 9.8% to £9.18 for 21 to 22-year-olds, by 4.1% to £6.83 for 18 to 20-year-olds, by 4.1% to £4.81 for 16 to 17-year-olds and by 11.9% to £4.81 for apprenticeships.
Ministers said the increase will particularly benefit workers in sectors such as retail, hospitality, cleaning and maintenance.
While the move has been welcomed by Katherine Chapman, director of the Living Wage Foundation, which promotes the higher voluntary real living wage, she said it remains significantly lower than a real living wage based on what it actually costs to live.
Businesses that are signed up to the Real Living Wage Foundation currently pay £9.90 an hour rising to £11.05 in London.
She said: “Even before the cost of living crisis, millions of workers and families were struggling to stay afloat.
“With bills continuing to rise, many more are now at risk of falling into financial hardship. If we’re to weather this storm we need employers to take action now, step up, and provide a real living wage that meets everyday needs, giving security and stability for both employers and workers.”
In making the announcement, Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said that by providing the biggest cash increase ever to the national living wage we are giving a boost to millions of UK workers.
“While no government can control the global factors pushing up the cost of everyday essentials, we will absolutely act wherever we can to mitigate rising costs.”
The Government also announced it will be launching a communications campaign in the coming weeks to help increase understanding among living wage earners around the wages they are legally entitled to, as well as steps they can take if they are concerned they are being underpaid.
Bryan Sanderson, who chairs the Low Pay Commission, said: “Workers on the minimum wage care for our elderly and sick, harvest and deliver our food, and do a multitude of other tasks which help us all. Many public sector workers including for example teaching assistants will also shortly be included. They all deserve to be properly remunerated and respected as key members of our society.”
Nye Cominetti, senior economist at the Resolution Foundation, said: “This is the fourth biggest rise in the 23-year history of the minimum wage, though it is unlikely to be enough to keep up with rising prices.
“The UK has one of the most ambitious minimum wages in the world. But as the debacle at P&O ferries has shown, better treatment for low earners doesn’t begin and end with the national living wage.
“Higher wage floors should be supplemented with greater security at work, and proper enforcement of the law that provides a sufficient deterrent to unscrupulous employers.”