Real Living Wage increases to £9.50 in North West


  • Nearly 20,000 people in the North West set to benefit from vital pay boost

  • Since 2011 almost £90 million (£89,933,059) in extra wages has gone to low-paid workers in the North West thanks to the Living Wage movement, including almost £13m since the start of lockdown.

  • Over 15,000 people in key worker industries in the North West have benefitted from almost £60m in extra wages since 2011.

  • Living Wage Foundation research finds that 602,000 (21.4%) workers in the North West are still paid under the real Living Wage.

LIVING WAGE FOUNDATION LOGOAlmost 20,000 people working for 576 real Living Wage Employers in the North West are set for a vital pay boost as the new Living Wage rate rises to £9.50 across the UK (20p increase) supporting workers and families through the pandemic.  The Living Wage rates are the only rates independently calculated based on what people need to live on.

Major Living Wage Employers in the North West include Everton and Liverpool football clubs, Salford University, Manchester Metropolitan University, the University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moore’s University.

These organisations join a network of nearly 7,000 employers across the UK, including two-fifths of the FTSE 100 companies, household names like Aviva, Nationwide, and Brewdog, as well as thousands of small businesses, who are choosing to pay the real Living Wage to ensure all staff earn a wage that meets the real cost of living, and covers everyday needs.

Research conducted by Cardiff Business School has demonstrated the significant impact of the Living Wage campaign since the start of the pandemic. Over 250,000 workers have benefitted from an additional £200 million since the start of lockdown, including 130,000 key workers. Since 2011 over £1.3bn in extra wages has gone to workers and families through the Living Wage.

The UK rate is 78p per hour more than the government minimum wage (for over 25s). A full-time worker in the North West paid the new £9.50 real Living Wage will receive over £1,500 in additional wages annually compared to the current Government minimum.

The announcement comes as new research by the Living Wage Foundation has demonstrated the scale of low pay during the pandemic, with 602,000 jobs in the North West still paying less than the real Living Wage.

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “It’s fantastic to hear that thousands of our workers are set to receive a vital pay boost thanks to the new Living Wage rates. In this difficult time, the new rates represent a welcome boost to low-paid workers and their families throughout the country.

“As we navigate the next challenging few months, we must ensure that good employer standards such as paying the real Living Wage are kept at the heart of our economic recovery. It’s been demonstrated by the Living Wage Foundation that when workers are paid a decent wage they are more productive. Three quarters of workers surveyed by the Foundation were better motivated and felt a stronger sense of pride in working for their employer. This Living Wage Week, I encourage all employers in the Liverpool City Region and throughout the country to consider accrediting with the Living Wage Foundation, to build a better and fairer society

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “It is great news that thousands of workers, including key workers, are to receive a vital pay boost thanks to the new Living Wage rates, especially during these difficult times.

“Although this is great news, there are still a large number of workers paid less than the Living Wage and many continue to struggle to make ends meet. I want to make Greater Manchester a place where everyone is paid fairly, and I urge employers across the city-region to continue to sign up to pay the Living Wage and support the campaign.”

Kim Healey, People Director at Everton FC, said: “At Everton, we take our role as a Living Wage Employer extremely seriously. The Living Wage is an example of how civil society, businesses and organisations can work together to tackle in-work poverty. We know that times are extremely difficult for everyone, and we are proud to be playing a part in shaping the national Living Wage movement to help educate, guide and assist companies and organisations considering paying the Living Wage about the positive outcomes that it can bring to employees, local communities and wider society.”

Jane Garnsey, People Operations Director at TalkTalk, said: “We chose to pay the real Living Wage for several reasons, but primarily because it is the right thing to do. Corporate responsibility is so important for us at TalkTalk, and we have always strived to lead the conversation on employer standards within our industry. This Living Wage Week, we would encourage all other employers to join the movement and accredit as a Living Wage Employer.” 

John, Electrician at Rochdale Boroughwide Housing, said: “My wife and children definitely saw a difference in me when I was uplifted to the real Living Wage. I owe a lot of that to the fact that we can now go out more and enjoy our family time without worrying if we can afford it. I can take my children out more to farms, beach trips and restaurants with the extra income. With the real Living Wage I am financially secure, and that shows in my attitude and well-being. I can come into work fresh and ready for the tasks at hand without a worry, and I truly believe it shows in my productivity.”

Laura Gardiner, Living Wage Foundation Director, said: “It’s an incredibly challenging time for us all, but today’s new Living Wage rates will give a boost to hundreds of thousands of workers in the North West, including thousands of key and essential workers like cleaners, care workers, delivery drivers, and supermarket staff, who have kept our economy going.

“Since the start of the pandemic employers have continued to sign up to a real Living Wage. During Living Wage Week it’s right that we celebrate those employers that have done right by workers and families, providing them with much needed security and stability even when times are hard. These are the employers that will allow us to recover and rebuild from this crisis.”



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