Hourly Real Living Wage Increases to £9.90

real living wage

The Real Living Wage is increasing to £9.90 per hour, up from £9.50. In London, the Real Living Wage will be £11.05 per hour.

The new Real Living Wage rates were announced today (Monday 15th November 2021). Employers that pay their staff the Real Living Wage should implement the rise as soon as possible, and within 6 months. All employees of employers paying the Real Living Wage should receive the new rate of pay by 15th May 2022.

Latest research by the Living Wage Foundation shows that there are still 4.8 million jobs paying less than the Real Living Wage in the UK. It was found that Northern Ireland had the highest proportion of jobs paying below the Living Wage at 21.3%, while south-east England had the lowest at 12.8%.


What is the Real Living Wage?

The Real Living Wage is designed to pay staff members a wage that meets their everyday needs, including everything from their weekly shop to a surprise trip to the dentist. It is a wage rate that is voluntarily paid by almost 9,000 UK businesses.

Almost 300,000 employees have received a pay rise as a result of the Real Living Wage campaign, which has enjoyed cross-party support. They have a broad range of employers accredited with the Foundation including half of the FTSE 100 and big household names including Nationwide, Google, Brewdog, Everton FC and Chelsea FC.


real living wage table
Via: Living Wage Foundation


Katherine Chapman, director at The Living Wage Foundation, said the new pay rates would “provide hundreds of thousands of workers and their families with greater security and stability”.

She added:

“It is still a pound, two pounds higher than the [national] minimum wage and that makes a huge difference. That means not having to worry about putting food on the table, or paying the bills at the end of the month … And we’ve seen record numbers of employers signing up this year because ultimately they want to do the right thing by their workers.”

Is the National Living Wage different from the Real Living Wage?

Yes, the National Living Wage is different from the Real Living Wage.

The Living Wage Foundation said:

“In April 2016 the government introduced a higher minimum wage rate for all staff over 25 years of age inspired by the Living Wage campaign – even calling it the ‘national living wage’.”

“However, this wage is not calculated according to what employees and their families need to live. Instead, it is based on a target to reach 66% of median earnings by 2024. Under current forecasts this means a rise to £10.50 per hour by 2024 and from 2021 was adjusted to include those over 23 years old. The government minimum takes into account what is affordable for businesses.”

“The real Living Wage rates are higher because they are independently-calculated based on what people need to get by. That’s why we encourage all employers that can afford to do so to ensure their employees earn a wage that meets the costs of living, not just the government minimum.”