Some employees will be looking forward to a pay rise as the Real Living Wage is to rise by 40 pence up to £9.90 per hour. Paying the Real Living Wage to their workers is a voluntary gesture by employers, it is the National Living Wage which is compulsory. The National Living Wage pays £8.91 per hour to anyone over the age of 23.
Providing Families With Greater Security And Stability
Interestingly Northern Ireland employers overall have the highest proportion of jobs paying below the Real Living Wage at 21.3%, in contrast to the south east of England which has the lowest proportion paying below it at 12.8%.
The Living Wage Foundation`s director Katherine Chapman is quoted on the BBC News website as saying that the new pay rates would:
“provide hundreds of thousands of workers and their families with greater security and stability”.
Speaking to the BBC’s Today programme. she said: “It is still a pound, two pounds higher than the [national] minimum wage and that makes a huge difference. That means not having to worry about putting food on the table, or paying the bills at the end of the month.
“And we’ve seen record numbers of employers signing up this year because ultimately they want to do the right thing by their workers.”
Is It Time For The Government To Act Further?
In the same article TUC general secretary Frances O`Grady said that the government must go further and provide a higher minimum wage as soon as possible. She is quoted as saying:
“With Britain in the middle of a cost-of-living crunch, it’s time for the government to act,” she said.
“Ministers must start by increasing the minimum wage to £10 immediately, banning zero hours contracts and giving trade unions greater access to workplaces to negotiate improved pay and conditions.”
There is no doubt that with prices rising in the shops, at the fuel pumps and on electricity and gas bills, the average man in the street will be finding it increasingly hard to make ends meet, so any rise in their wages will be very much welcomed by them.
On the other hand employers have been through an incredibly tough time, they are facing higher prices for their raw materials and higher production costs, and on top of that they will have to pay higher wages, which could make it a very difficult time for many businesses. There are no easy fixes with this but let us hope the economy recovers enough for everyone to benefit in the long term.