New Living Wage rates were adopted for the UK and London yesterday to mark Living Wage Week.
The National Living Wage was raised by 20p an hour from £8.25 to £8.45, while London Mayor Sadiq Khan announced a 35p increase in the rate in the capital to £9.75 an hour.
The new Living Wage rate is introduced each year for the UK and London in the first week of November.
Almost 1,000 employers have signed up to the Living Wage since Living Wage Week last year bringing the total number of accredited organisations to almost 3,000.
One in five people are still paid less than the Living Wage, however, according to research by KPMG.
Guy Stallard, director at KPMG UK, said: “With the cost of living higher than it’s ever been, the reality for many is that they are forced to live hand to mouth. Paying a Living Wage will save huge swathes of people being caught between the desire to contribute to society and the inability to afford to do so.
“As employers we can take active steps to address this, by paying the voluntary Living Wage. This also delivers real and tangible business benefits. In our own firm it has improved staff morale and driven a rise in service standards, improved the retention of staff and increased our productivity.
“It may not be possible or practical for everyone, but all organisations need to do what they can to address the problem of low pay. Of course, change cannot happen instantly, but making an initial assessment is an important first step.”
Announcing the rise in the London rate, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said: “It’s great news that London is leading the way in paying the Living Wage and that over 1,000 businesses are now accredited and helping to make this a fairer and more equal city. I’m glad to say we’re well on track to see it rise to over £10 an hour during my mayoralty, but we need to go further and for many more businesses and organisations to sign up.”
Audley Care has become one of the first UK care providers to offer all its personal care assistants permanent contracts, which includes a contributory pension and benefits.
Paul Morgan, operations director of Audley, said: “Our people are crucial to the service we offer our customers. Audley is committed to delivering the highest standards of care, and to do that we want to attract the best care staff available in the UK.
“We are therefore extremely pleased to be able to bring all of our care staff who want to onto permanent contracts. This is still highly unusual in the care sector and we hope that other providers follow suit. We also hope that, the better the conditions for our staff, the lower staff turnover will be, which will clearly benefit the continuity of care for our customers.
“Care is an important and rewarding career, which is why we invest heavily in training and career advancement through the Audley Care Training Academy which delivers a robust and personalised care training programme for all new employees. These new contracts are a further illustration of our complete commitment to our customers and staff.”