Living Wage Week – new rate announced

The Real Living Wage, based on the actual cost of living, has been raised. See what the new rate is and why the Real Living Wage differs from the government’s Minimum Wage.

What is the Real Living Wage?

The Real Living Wage is an independently-calculated hourly rate of pay that is based on the actual cost of living.

It is calculated each year and is announced by the Living Wage Foundation as part of Living Wage Week, which this year runs from November 15th – 21st 2021.

As explained by the Living Wage Foundation:

“The real Living Wage is an hourly rate of pay set independently and updated annually (not the UK government’s National Living Wage).

“It is calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK, and employers choose to pay the Living Wage on a voluntary basis.

“Since 2011, the campaign has impacted over 300,000 employees and delivered over £1.6bn extra to some of the lowest paid workers in the UK.”

What is the current Real Living Wage rate?

The new hourly rate, set on November 15th 2021, is:

  • £9.90 across the UK
  • £11.05 in London*

These figures are up from £9.50 and £10.85 respectively in 2020/21.

In contrast, the government-set National Living Wage rate has been increased to £8.91 from £8.72 for 2021/22.

See how the Real Living Wage rate and the government’s National Living Wage rate have changed over time.

* The higher rate in London reflects the higher cost of living in London.

Why is the Real Living Wage higher than the government-set Living Wage?

According to the Living Wage Foundation: “The real Living Wage rates are higher because they are independently-calculated based on what people need to get by.”

Read more information on why the two rates differ.

What about Living Hours?

The Living Wage Foundation has developed a new standard to outline what level of ‘Living Hours’ employers can offer alongside a Real Living Wage, in the knowledge that a lot of people struggle to get the hours they need to make enough money.

Read more about how employers can offer Living Hours.

Learn more during Living Wage Week

Although Living Wage Week is nearing its conclusion, you can still get involved and learn more about becoming a Living Wage Employer.

See all the ways you can get involved on the Living Wage Week website.

Learn more about the Living Wage Foundation here.

Use #LivingWageWeek on social media if you want to shout about your involvement or to check out how other businesses are paying the Real Living Wage.

Becoming a Living Wage Employer

The Buckinghamshire Business First Group is an accredited Living Wage Employer, meaning every member of staff earns a real Living Wage.

Read more about becoming a Living Wage Employer >

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