A new Living Wage of £8.55 an hour for Londoners and £7.45 for the rest of the UK has been unveiled today.
London Mayor Boris Johnson revealed the new London rate as Labour launched a campaign to encourage more employers to adopt the voluntary rate.
The moves are part of Living Wage Week which began on Sunday and is coordinated by the Living Wage Foundation. A Living Wage is higher than the minimum wage and is based on the basic cost of living in the UK. Employers choose voluntarily whether to adopt it.
Before today’s rise, the UK Living Wage for outside of London was £7.20 per hour and the London figure was £8.30 per hour. The figure is set annually by the Centre for Research in Social Policy at Loughborough University and the campaign is also backed by David Cameron.
Labour leader Ed Miliband MP is today meeting with leaders of Labour local authorities across Britain who are implementing the Living Wage. He said under Labour Whitehall contracts would only go to firms paying the living wage and those who didn’t pay the wage may be “named and shamed”.
He stated: “The next step [in Labour’s campaign for a Living Wage] is to help more people have the dignity of earning a Living Wage: to move this beyond the great councils and businesses that have already made the change to those that have yet to do so.”
“There are already scores of British businesses who are saying that the living wage makes sense from them because it improves staff retention and reduces absence rates. We will learn from them and find ways to help other businesses become living wage employers.
“We need to build an economy where everyone has a stake, not where millions of people feel they never have a chance for a decent life however hard they work.”
Since the Living Wage was introduced in 2005, an estimated 11,500 workers have benefited.
A newly designed trademark that recognises and accredits employers who pay the London living wage has been launched.