On Sunday Ed Miliband has unveiled plans to back a ‘living wage’ campaign if Labour wins the next election. This will involve ensuring that Whitehall contracts only go to firms which pay the living wage, whilst ‘naming and shaming’ those who pay less.
The ‘living wage’ is based on the principle that work should pay enough to provide for the essentials of life. The living wage is currently calculated at £8.55 per hour in London and £7.45 per hour in the rest of the UK. This is considerably higher than the official minimum wage which stands at £6.19 per hour for those over 21, £4.98 for those over 18, and £3.68 for 16 and 17-year-olds.
The living wage campaign by the Living Wage Foundation and Citizens UK is currently an entirely voluntary scheme for employers to join. Living wage rates are reviewed regularly and employers in the scheme are expected to implement the new rates within six months of their being announced.
More information about latest living wage developments you can find from the Living Wage Foundations blog.