13,000 Employers Paying the Real Living Wage as New Research Shows 94% of Accredited Employers Benefit 

  • Over 13,000 UK employers are now accredited with the Living Wage Foundation, over half (8,000) of whom have signed up since the start of the pandemic.  
  • Molton Brown and The Perfume Shop among responsible employers who have recently accredited  

More than 13,000 UK employers have now signed up to pay the real Living Wage, the UK’s only voluntary wage rate based on the cost of living. The Living Wage Foundation announced that over half of these employers (8,000) have signed up since the start of the pandemic, defying challenging economic conditions.  

The Living Wage is £10.90 outside of London and £11.95 in London and is voluntarily paid by Living Wage Employers to all directly employed staff as well as third-party staff like cleaners, security guards and caterers.   

The growth in Living Wage Employers has provided a vital cost-of-living pay boost to thousands of workers, as record price rises have pushed millions into financial hardship. Research from the Living Wage Foundation has found there are 3.5 million jobs paying below the real Living Wage in the UK, with the total projected to rocket to over 5 million over the next year.  

Despite challenging economic conditions, a record of nearly 8,000 employers have signed up to pay the real Living Wage since the start of the pandemic in 2020, with 1,500 joining so far this year. 

New research by the Cardiff Business School shows 94% of Living Wage Employers benefited from the accreditation, with employers reporting improvements in recruitment, reputation, and more. The report has found that: 

  • 87% of Living Wage Employers say paying a real Living Wage enhanced the organisation’s general reputation as an employer 

  • 66% of Living Wage Employers say paying a real Living Wage differentiated the organisation from others in the same industry/activity 

  • 64% of Living Wage Employers say paying a real Living Wage improved relations between staff members and managers 

  • 62% of employers say paying a real Living Wage has improved recruitment of employees 

  • 60% of employers say paying a real Living Wage has improved retention of LW employees 



Media Contact 

Maisie.caro@livingwage.org.uk | 07950 66 68 82 


About the Living Wage  

The real Living Wage is an hourly rate of pay set independently and updated annually (not the UK government’s National Living Wage). It is calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK, and employers choose to pay the Living Wage on a voluntary basis. The UK Living Wage is currently £10.90 per hour. There is a separate London Living Wage rate of £11.95 per hour to reflect the higher cost of living in the capital. These figures are calculated annually by the Resolution Foundation and overseen by the Living Wage Commission, based on the best available evidence on living standards in London and the UK. 

The Living Wage Foundation is the organisation at the heart of the movement of businesses, organisations and individuals who campaign for the simple idea that a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay. The Living Wage Foundation receives guidance and advice from the Living Wage Advisory Council. The Foundation is supported by our principal partners: Aviva; Burberry; IKEA; Joseph Rowntree Foundation; KPMG; Linklaters; Nationwide; Nestle; Resolution Foundation; Oxfam; Trust for London; People’s Health Trust; and Queen Mary University of London. 

What about the Government’s national living wage? 

In July 2015 the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced that the UK Government would introduce a compulsory ‘national living wage’. It was introduced in April 2016, originally applying for all workers over the age of 25, and, as of April 2022, is currently £10.42 an hour and applies for workers over the age of 23. The rate is different to the Living Wage rates calculated by the Living Wage Foundation. The government rate is based on median earnings while the Living Wage Foundation rates are calculated according to the cost of living in London and the UK. A full-time worker paid the £10.90 real Living Wage will receive £936 in additional wages annually compared to the current Government minimum. For a full-time worker in London this figure rises to £2,983.50.