2021 is the 20-year anniversary of the Living Wage Campaign which was started in East London. Community leaders had listened within their organisations before Citizens UK brought together churches, mosques, schools and other local institutions to talk about the issues affecting their communities. One issue came up again and again - low pay.
So the community leaders and Citizens UK launched a Living Wage Campaign. At the time the minimum wage was set at £3.70 an hour. Some people were working two or three minimum wage jobs and still struggling to make ends meet. And nowhere more so than in London, where housing and childcare costs are much higher than in other parts of the country. They began to convince employers to go above and beyond the minimum and pay a Real Living Wage to their workers. They managed to convince employers to pay a Real Living Wage, and the campaign has gathered pace with now over 9,000 businesses across the UK paying the Real Living Wage.
What is the Real Living Wage? The Real Living Wage is independently calculated based on what it actually costs to live. It's the difference between being able to afford things you need for a decent quality of life; things like healthy food, a warm home and a birthday treat for your children. The real Living Wage is currently £10.85 in London and £9.30 UK wide. New rates will be announced during Living Wage Week due to the rising cost of living.