On 3 November, the UK living wage increased by 20p an hour, to £7.85.
The London living wage increased by 4% to £9.15 an hour. However 22% of workers, 5.28 million, still earn below the living wage, despite the Living Wage Foundation having accredited more than 1000 employers.
Research conducted for consultancy firm KPMG shows 43% of part-time workers earn less than the living wage, compared with 13% of full-time employees. It also found 72% of 18- to 21-year-olds and one in four women earn less than the living wage, compared with 16% of men.
The living wage is now 21% higher than the enforceable national minimum wage.
The Living Wage Foundation, whose chair is also a boss in KPMG, can only go so far in ending low pay for millions of workers. Companies accredited by the foundation do not have to abide by any other workers’ conditions to keep their accreditation, they could easily cut jobs to “afford” the living wage they promise to pay whilst not hitting profits.
Workers organisation and strikes as taken by workers at the Ritzy cinema will be the only way to win a living wage for many.