New Real Living Wage rates set for 2020/21

During Living Wage Week, 9-15 November 2020, the Living Wage Foundation has announced an increase in the Real Living Wage rates to £9.50 across the UK and £10.85 in London. The Living Wage rates are the only rates independently calculated based on what people need to live on. Almost 7,000 employers across the UK choose to pay the real Living Wage, on a voluntary basis, to ensure all staff earn a wage that meets the real cost of living and covers everyday needs. Note: this does not mean an increase to the Government’s National Living Wage for workers aged 25 or over, which is £8.72 from April 2020.

The announcement comes as new research by the Living Wage Foundation has demonstrated the scale of low pay during the pandemic, with 5.5 million jobs (20.3% of employee jobs) still paying less than the real Living Wage. Northern Ireland has the highest proportion of jobs paying below the Living Wage (25.3%) and Scotland the lowest (15.2%).

It is encouraging to see an increasing number of employers committed to paying this to their employees, as decent wages can make a huge difference in the lives of families across the UK, particularly now given the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic. A real Living Wage for all workers will be vital to our economic recovery from this pandemic.

What is the real Living Wage?   

The real Living Wage is an hourly rate of pay set independently and updated annually by the Living Wage Foundation. It is separate to the UK Government’s National Minimum and Living Wage rates. 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. According to the Living Wage Foundation, since 2001 the campaign has impacted over 250,000 employees and delivered over £1.3bn extra to some of the lowest paid workers in the UK.

Find out more

Visit the Living Wage Foundation’s website for more information on this announcement or to find out more about becoming a Living Wage Employer.

For advice on this, or any financial support your family may be entitled to, contact our Family Benefits Advice Service on 028 9267 8200 or email