Over 22,800 Welsh workers will receive a vital cost-of-living pay boost thanks to the 550 Welsh employers who are all committed to paying all their staff a real Living Wage. 

The new Living Wage rate rises to £12 an hour across the UK outside of London (a £1.10 increase)  

The real Living Wage rates remain the only wage rates independently calculated based on what people need to live on. This year the rate increased by 10.1% in the UK, reflecting persistently high costs and levels of financial hardship for low paid workers. 

Recent research by the Living Wage Foundation shows that despite inflation easing, the cost-of-living crisis is far from over for Britain’s 3.5m low paid workers, with 60% having used a food bank in the past year and 39% regularly skipping meals for financial reason 

The real Living Wage vs the ‘National Living Wage’ – the difference 

Unlike the Government minimum wage (‘National Living Wage’ for over 23s – £10.42) the real Living Wage is the only wage rate independently calculated based on rising living costs and applies to everyone over 18. 

A full-time worker earning the new, real Living Wage would earn £3,081 a year more than a worker earning the current government minimum (NLW), and £2,145 more than their current pay. In London, a full-time worker on the new real Living Wage rate would earn an additional £5,323.50 a year compared to a worker on the current NLW. 

The real Living Wage in Wales 

New research from Cardiff Business School shows that Living Wage workers in Wales have benefitted from more than £105m in extra wages since the campaign began 

Low pay 

There are 3.5m jobs (12.2% of employee jobs, or 1 in 8 jobs) paid less than the real Living Wage. According to Living Wage Foundation projections, the scale of low pay is predicted to increase to 4.3mm (15.7% of jobs) in 2023.  

Research published recently by the Living Wage Foundation found that despite easing inflation, the cost-of-living crisis is far from over for low paid workers, with 50% worse off than a year ago. 43% of low paid workers reported regularly using a foodbank (at least once per month) and 39% reported falling behind on household bills. 

First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “I welcome today’s announcement of a rise in the Real Living Wage from £10.90 to £12 per hour.  This increase will make a real difference to the lives of thousands of workers who work for Real Living Wage employers in Wales.   

“I pay tribute to those employers who have adopted the Real Living Wage and recognised its benefits to them as employers, to those they employ, and to our communities.  We will continue to work with employers, trade unions and others in the living wage movement to promote the benefits of the Real Living Wage.” 

Clare Sain-Ley-Berry, Director of Cynnal Cymru, the Living Wage Foundation accreditation partner for Wales said: “It’s great to hear that so many workers will be receiving a pay rise to reflect the rising cost of living as a result of the growing Wales-wide network of real Living Wage employers.  As the only UK wage rate based on the cost of living, times like these are exactly why the real Living Wage exists. Employers who have taken the step to become accredited real Living Wage employers should feel proud that their efforts are helping sustain families through this cost of living crisis and saving many of their workers from intense financial worry.” 

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