Low pay damaging family life and workers' health - report

Low pay is having a "corrosive" impact on family life and the health of workers earning below the voluntary living wage, a new study shows.

A survey of over 1,000 parents on less than the voluntary rate of £10.20 an hour in London and £8.75 elsewhere, found that one in four believed low pay negatively affected their relationship with their family and friends.

More than three out of five of those questioned for the Living Wage Foundation said they worried so much it affected their day-to-day life.

Katherine Chapman, director of the Living Wage Foundation, which sets the voluntary wage rates, said: "It's shocking to see just how corrosive the effects of low pay are on family life.

"Many parents are earning too little to provide their children with the basics, like a warm winter coat. What's worse is that they're also stuck in jobs that require them to work long, anti-social hours away from their children and report feeling lonely. The stress this places on families is immense.

"Without a genuine living wage based on the cost of living, many parents will continue to struggle to make ends meet, while their family lives suffer, and their health can deteriorate."

Almost 4,000 employers are now accredited with the foundation and pay the voluntary rates, which are higher than the statutory national living wage of £7.50 an hour for over 25-year-olds.