Over a quarter of a million workers will get a 20p per hour pay rise today

MORE than a quarter of a million workers will get a 20p per hour pay rise today due to a hike in the Living Wage.

The voluntary real living wage – paid by more than 800 employers in the UK – is increasing to £9.50 an hour.

In London it will rise by 10p per hour to £10.85.

The wage – 78p an hour higher than the minimum wage and £2.13 higher in the capital – is paid by major employers such as Tate and Lyle, Network Rail, Capital One, Brewdog and Everton football club.

In total the living wage is paid by almost 7,000 employers in the UK, including two-fifths of FTSE 100 companies.

The Living Wage Foundation said since its rates were launched in 2011, more than £1.3 billion in extra wages has gone to workers and families.

A full-time worker paid the new £9.50 real living wage will receive more than £1,500 in additional wages a year compared with the current Government minimum, according to the foundation.

New research by the Living Wage Foundation estimated that 5.5 million jobs – one in five of the total – pay less than the real living wage.

Laura Gardiner, Living Wage Foundation director, said: "It's an incredibly challenging time for us all, but today's new living wage rates will give a boost to hundreds of thousands of UK workers, including thousands of key and essential workers like cleaners, care workers, and delivery drivers who have kept our economy going.

"Since the start of the pandemic, employers have continued to sign up to a real living wage. These are the employers that will allow us to recover and rebuild from this crisis."

The Archbishop of York, the Most Revd Stephen Cottrell, said: "Throughout this pandemic, we have depended on those of us who have selflessly put their work ahead of their own health and wellbeing for the continued functioning of our society.

"Over the past few months, we have recognised and applauded their fantastic work.

"Now it is time we do the morally right thing and follow this recognition with well-deserved reward, paying them what they need to live. It is right to be paid a fair day's wage."

TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said: "People who work for a living ought to earn a decent living. Yet many of the key workers getting us through this crisis – such as carers, supermarket staff and delivery drivers – earn less than the real living wage."

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