A QUARTER of a million workers in the North West will see a pay rise after the government’s National Living Wage comes in today.

The rise in minimum wage for workers 25 and over from £6.70 to £7.20 was announced last summer by the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

The Living Wage Foundation has applauded the new initiative, but believes more needs to be done. Katherine Chapman, Director of the Living Wage Foundation, said:

“Today‘s new legal minimum [wage] is an important step forward in tackling low pay in the UK – we welcome the news that millions of workers will get a pay rise.”

The higher, voluntary Living Wage is calculated by Loughborough University and London General Authority.
It is based on the cost of goods and services, such as food, transport, housing, and childcare. The rate currently stands at £8.25 in the UK and £9.40 in London.

Over 2300 employers already pay the higher voluntary Living Wage including EDF, IKEA and Nationwide.
Katherine Chapman continued:

By voluntarily choosing to pay above the legal minimum rates, employers are demonstrating that they value their employees and are seeing significant benefits for their organisations as a result. Employers we work with have reported increases in productivity, reduced absenteeism and staff turnover alongside increased wellbeing and morale. Productivity and good pay go hand in hand.”

Tom Skinner, co-ordinator of the Greater Manchester Living Wage Campaign, said:

That’s not a living wage. That’s not going to cover the cost of living. That’s not been calculated to cover the cost of living. So it doesn’t have the right name. However I think the National Living Wage – as it’s so called – is a really good thing. It’s basically min wage rebranded and increased.”

By Jamie Mountain


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