The voluntary Living Wage has just increased

The level of the voluntary Living Wage has been increased to £8.45 across the UK and £9.75 in London.

Everton Football Club and the British Library were among employers announcing their commitment to pay the voluntary minimum, bringing the total number of accredited Living Wage organisations to almost 3,000.

The Living Wage is independently calculated each year to reflect what employees and their families actually need to meet their living costs, which makes it significantly higher than the Government's mandatory minimum wage (£7.20 an hour for those aged 25, £6.95 for 21 to 24-year-olds and £5.55 for 18 to 20-year-olds).

The British Library
The British Library is committed to paying the voluntary Living Wage (DCMS/PA)

The increase from £8.25 to £8.40 for all workers aged over 18 represents a 2.4% hike in the UK rate, while London's rise from £9.40 to £9.75 amounts to 3.7%.

It comes a day after a survey found that one in five workers - more than five million people - is being paid less than the Living Wage, according to new estimates.

Mayor Sadiq Khan says it was a "badge of pride" for more than 1,000 businesses that they are signed up to pay the London Living Wage (LLW), which was "well on track" to reach £10 a hour during his time in office.

Sadiq Khan
Khan calls offering the Living Wage a "badge of pride" for companies (Jonathan Brady/PA)

More than 60,000 workers in the capital have benefited from LLW, which has increased by a total of 17.5% since 2011, he said.

"It's essential that hard-working Londoners, who keep this city going, are rewarded for their integral role in this success," said Khan. "Paying the London Living Wage is not just the right and moral thing to do, it makes good business sense too."

Living Wage
Estimates say that one in five workers is being paid below the Living Wage (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The change does not affect the official minimum wage levels, including the rate for those aged 25 and over, which is known by the Government as the National Living Wage.

Katherine Chapman, director of the Living Wage Foundation, said: "It's more important than ever for leading employers to join the growing movement of businesses and organisations that are going further than the Government minimum and making sure their employees earn enough to cover the cost of living.

"As we kick off Living Wage Week today we are celebrating nearly 3,000 employers across the UK who lead the way on tackling low pay by paying the real Living Wage. The sheer growth of our movement shows that the Living Wage is good for people and good for business."

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