More firms commit to pay the voluntary living wage


More firms have vowed to pay the voluntary living wage as the rates were increased to well above the statutory minimum.

The rate will rise by 35p an hour to £10.55 in London and by 25p to £9 outside the capital, with the increases largely driven by higher transport costs, private rents and council tax.

The living wage is now £2.72 higher than the statutory living wage for London workers and £1.17 higher in other parts of the UK.

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The statutory rate will increase to £8.21 an hour next April for workers aged 25 and over.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan announced that the London Stadium was the latest to become a living wage employer.

Coach giant National Express said its entire business was now accredited as a living wage employer, covering almost 600 staff.

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Meanwhile, supermarket giant Lidl said it will increase salaries of its hourly-paid employees in line with the new living wage, worth £8 million to 17,000 workers.

Pay has increased by up to 30% since Lidl became the first supermarket to offer the living wage in 2015.

More than 4,700 employers have signed up to pay the voluntary living wage to their staff, ranging from football clubs and banks to universities and retail firms.

Living Wage Foundation director Tess Lanning said: “Responsible businesses know that the Government minimum is not enough to live on, and today’s new living wage rates will provide a boost for thousands of workers throughout the UK.

“Employers that pay the real living wage enable their workers to live a life of dignity, supporting them to pay off debts and meet the pressures of rising bills.”

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

The London Mayor said he will be writing to major sporting and cultural institutions in the capital, urging them to pay the living wage.

He said: “I am determined to make London a fairer and more equal city, so I’m proud to say that the London Stadium has joined businesses across the capital in becoming a living wage employer.

“Now I’m calling on all of our city’s employers – in the public and private sectors – to do the same and to start paying their workforce the London living wage.”

– Workers will stage a protest on Tuesday outside Luton Town Hall calling on the council to support their campaign for Luton Airport to become a living wage employer.

Unite said that as a majority shareholder in the airport, the council should make sure that contractors, including cleaners and security staff, are paid the living wage.