A Fifth of Workers in the United Kingdom are Still Earning Below ‘Real’ Living Wage


    According to a new report that was released by KPMG, over a fifth of workers in the United Kingdom are still currently earning below the so-called “real living wage,” meaning that an around 5.5 million employees are having a hard time to escape poverty.

    Even though the “real living wage” is a voluntary target that is set higher than the mandatory living wage of the Government, about 150,000 employers have agreed to pay it. Thus, providing all workers that are over the age of 18 a pay packet that is worth £8.45 per hour, or £9.75 per hour in London.

    However, KMPG discovered that millions are still finding it difficult to make ends meet in low-paid jobs, especially as the cost of living increases, with about 21 percent of workers on a lower rate. The national living wage of the Government, which replaced the minimum wage in 2016, is set at £7.50 for those that are aged 25 and over.

    For the last five years, the study of KPMG, which is carried out by IHS Markit, has discovered that women are considered to be more likely to be paid below the “real living wage” than men. In 2017, around 26 percent of women are not being paid with the higher rate, compared to about 16pc of men, said the study.

    People in Northern Ireland probably the are least likely to be earning the “real living wage,” closely followed by the East Midlands, and Yorkshire and Humber.

    Although 100,000 more people are currently earning the “real living wage” compared to that of 2016, a sharp rise in the cost of living implied that 27 percent of the respondents to the survey stated that their household finances had worsened.

    The director at KPMG UK, Andy Bagnall, stated: “Even though the number of people earning below the real living wage has slightly decreased, the reality is that those at the bottom of the pay scale are really feeling the squeeze due to increases in the cost of living and decline in pay.

    “Looking ahead, a rise in inflation levels will further eat into the pay-packets of those already struggling – it’s time for the business community to play its part to help those working earn a respectable wage.”