Happy Living Wage Week! What’s that I hear you ask? The week-long celebration is part of the campaign for everyone to be paid a Living Wage. Living Wage Week occurs annually at the beginning of November. It is something GK is very proud to be part of as an official Living Wage Employer. Let me explain further.
You may have heard of the National Living Wage, a rate set by the Government since 2016 which is a higher minimum wage rate for all staff over 25 years of age. It is currently £7.38 an hour, which is 55-60% of median earnings in the UK. As the cost of living increases, The Living Wage Foundation campaigns for a higher Real Living Wage to support workers to live more comfortably. For 2017-2018, The Living Wage Foundation set the Real Living Wage at £8.75 across the UK and £10.20 in London. This rose to £9 an hour across the UK this week, and to £10.55 in London. New rates are released each year during Living Wage Week. It is important that the rates are updated frequently so that the Real Living Wage reflects rising living costs.
The Real Living Wage is completely voluntary, but so far over 4,400 UK businesses have signed up – including GK. We do this because we value the people in our business. We want to ensure they are paid well for their hard work.
Living Wage Week is a celebration of this movement. Politicians from all parties show their support, and businesses who are involved get together at special events. This year it’s great to see high-profile figures such as the Mayor of London getting behind the cause and attending events. Hopefully with persuasive people like Sadiq Khan supporting the Foundation, more and more businesses will join GK in paying a Real Living Wage.