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Thursday, June 13, 2024

London ‘living wage’ workers to get 10% pay boost

More than 130,000 hard-working Londoners are set to receive a well-deserved financial boost, with the ‘London living wage’ rising to £13.15 per hour.

This move, propelled by the charitable efforts of the Living Wage Foundation, is a crucial step towards ensuring that individuals can meet their essential living expenses.

Around 3,500 businesses in the bustling capital have pledged their commitment to the initiative.

This figure is independent from the National Living Wage – now £12 per hour – which remains consistent throughout the UK.

The London living wage is calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK, and employers choose to pay the living wage on a voluntary basis.

The decision to heighten the London living wage comes in the wake of revealing research by the foundation, which revealed difficulties faced by around half a million low-earning workers in the city.

Food banks

Startling statistics from their recent survey indicate that 60% of these workers have resorted to food banks in the past year, while 39% regularly skip meals due to financial constraints.

Employers enrolled in the program have been given a deadline of May 1, 2024 to integrate this increased wage into their payroll systems.

According to estimations made by the charitable organisation, a full-time employee benefiting from the upgraded London living wage can anticipate an annual surplus of over £5,323 in comparison to those earning the current National Living Wage.

Liza Cook, who lives and works in the city said: “It’s a welcome rise, for sure. I don’t have much to live off by the time I’ve paid all my bills. Now I might actually be able to have savings.”

Good news for thousands

UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea said: “This is good news for hundreds of thousands of low-paid workers whose employers do the right thing. That’s pay them a decent wage. But many more providing essential public services will miss out.

“These employees include care workers, who’re often on poverty pay, in a sector already struggling to fill record vacancies.

“And today’s increase means thousands of workers employed by the NHS on the lowest pay bands – like porters, cleaners, domestics and security staff – will be significantly short of the new rate.

“The government must follow suit and boost the minimum wage so millions are better able to weather the cost of living pressures causing such deep financial pain.”

Katherine Chapman, director of the Living Wage Foundation, said: “As inflation eases, we cannot forget that low-paid workers remain at the sharp end of the cost-of-living crisis.

“Low-paid workers continue to struggle with stubbornly high prices because they spend a larger share of their budget on food and energy.”

Editorial credit: JuliusKielaitis / Shutterstock.com

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