UK workers paid less than living wage

01.11.2012

5 million workers in the UK are paid less than a living wage, according to research by KPMG, on 29 October 2012

Currently a living wage in the UK is £8.30 per hour in London and £7.20 for the rest of the UK. The KPMG study shows that one in five of the country's workers are paid less than this rate. The research by KPMG is published just days before the Living Wage Week which will take place from 4 to 10 November when the new rates for London and the rest of the country will be announced.

Workers' wages in the UK are failing to stretch to the end of the month with the money running out after just 21 days. IndustriALL affiliate Unite the Union calls on workers to stand up for a better future. “Lets boost the minimum wage by a pound an hour, lets go for growth that fulfills the needs of the people,” said Len McCluskey, general secretary of Unite the Union.

The living wage is a voluntary rate that only some employers give their workers and is considered to be the rate that enables workers to afford a basic standard of living. The minimum wage in the UK however is set at £6.19 per hour but paying a living wage makes a huge difference to the individuals and their families and does not cost an employer much more.

 “We are marching brothers and sisters against… the pay loan sharks that have become the symbol of this government, where save the children are having to save our kids, where thousands of people are actually having to rely on food banks to survive in one of the richest countries in the world. What a disgrace what a shame,” said Len McCluskey in his speech at the ‘March for a Future’ in London on 20 October where more than 150,000 people marched through the streets of London against austerity and for a future that works. Thousands more marched in Belfast and Glasgow.

Launched by London Citizens in 2001, The Living Wage Campaign calls for every worker in the country to earn enough to provide their family with the essentials of life. The campaign has positively impacted over 10,000 employees and their families, and redistributed over £96 million to some of the lowest paid workers in the UK.