At Plunkett we are proud to be an accredited Living Wage employer. This week we’re joining over 2,000 other accredited Living Wage employers in celebrating the national Living Wage Week, from 1 – 8 November, organised by the Living Wage Foundation.

The Living Wage is an hourly rate set independently and updated annually, which is calculated according to the basic cost of living using the Minimum Income Standard for the UK. Decisions about what to include in this Standard are set by the public; it is a social consensus about what people need to make ends meet.

Unlike the national minimum wage (NMW), the Living Wage is voluntarily paid by employers. NMW currently stands at £6.70 per hour for employees aged 21 and over. It is £5.30 for those aged 18-20 and £3.87 for under 18s. In comparison, the increased Living Wage rate now stands at £8.25 per hour (£9.40 for London). That represents an increase of 40p on the standard rate, and 25p in London.

The initial Living Wage movement began in 2001 by parents in East London who were frustrated that having to work two minimum wage jobs to support their families left no time for family life. The scheme is now led by Citizens UK and the Living Wage Foundation, who award the Living Wage Employer Mark to employers that commit to paying the Living Wage. According to figures from the Foundation, 20% of people working in the UK earn less than the Living Wage.

You can find out more about the Living Wage and how to get involved in the Living Wage Week here