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Real Living Wage Week - new rate announced

Not to be confused with the national living wage, which is a statutory entitlement for workers aged 25 or over, the so-called "real" living wage is intended for workers aged 18 and over and is a voluntary payment rate.

Living Wage Week and Scottish Living Wage Week, promoted by the Living Wage Foundation, centre on the announcement in November of the new real living wage rates.  This years announcement confirmed the new rate as being £8.75 per hour across the UK and £10.20 in London.

Unlike the national living wage, which is calculated as a percentage of median earnings - currently at 55% but aiming to reach 60% of median earnings by 2020 - the real living wage is calculated according to the cost of living based on a basket of household goods and services.   

Living Wage Week itself celebrates the real living wage movement, encourages employers to accredit as living wage employers and highlights businesses that are already paying the real living wage.  In order to accredit as a living wage employer a business must pay the real living wage to all directly employed staff and have a plan to pay on-site contractors a living wage.  

According to statistics published by the Living Wage Foundation 93% of businesses believe they have benefited from gaining accreditation, with 86% reporting it enhanced their business reputation and 80% identifying an increase in the quality of work.  More information on accreditation as a real living wage employer is available here.