Real living wage increased early to help workers weather the cost of living | Business news

The voluntary real living wage has been raised earlier than usual to provide more financial support to hundreds of thousands of workers during the cost of living crisis.

The Living Wage Foundation, which sets the hourly rates employers can sign up for, said they would increase by £1 to £10.90 in the UK and 90p to £11.95 in London.

The rates – which are calculated independently based on what people need to live on – are above the legal £9.50 per hour for adults.

They are paid by more than 11,000 employers who have joined the scheme.

The foundation said 390,000 people would benefit, at a cost of nearly £2,000 for a full-time employee.

The new rates, it also explained, were now worth £2,700 more a year to full-time workers in the UK than those on the national minimum wage and nearly £5,000 more in London.

The increments take effect at a time when the rate of inflation runs at a high of 40 years at just under 10%.

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According to the foundation’s director, Katherine Chapman, the 10.1% increase in the UK’s real living wage was the largest annual increase implemented.

She said: “With the cost of living soaring so rapidly, millions will be faced with a terrible choice of ‘heat or eat’ this winter – which is why a true living wage is more important than ever.

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“Today’s new rates will provide hundreds of thousands of workers and their families with greater security and stability during these incredibly difficult times.

“We are facing unprecedented challenges with the cost of living crisis, but companies continue to ramp up and support workers by signing up for the living wage in record numbers.

“We know that the living wage is good for both employers and employees, which is why the real living wage must remain at the center of solutions to address the cost of living crisis.”

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The foundation said the number of employers with a real living wage has more than doubled in the past two years, with major new names including the Royal Albert Hall, Aston University and the ExCel Centre.

They join half of the FTSE 100 companies, including Aviva, Everton FC, Ikea, Burberry and Lush, as well as thousands of small businesses.

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