3.5 million Britons earning less than minimum wage
The Living Wage Foundation is reporting that 3.5 million people across the country are earning less than what it costs to live on, with the majority of them being women. In light of this, experts are urging for the real Living Wage to be used by businesses which is a hiked version of the minimum wage.
Some 2 million women who are in work are paid below the real Living Wage, compared to 1.4 million men in the UK.
Campaigners have noted that millions of women across the country are “trapped in low-paying jobs”.
Around 13 percent of women are also more likely to be on a zero-hour contract than men at nine percent.
Women are also less likely to receive payment when shifts are cancelled with over a quarter admitting they have paid nothing when work has stopped last minute.
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To mark International Women’s Day, the Living Wage Foundation is calling on employer to adopt the real Living Wage.
Currently, the real Living Wage is currently set at £10.90 in the UK and a higher rate of £11.95 in London.
This amount is voluntarily paid by over 12,000 businesses across the UK including well-known companies such as LUSH and Burberry.
As it stands, there is National Living Wage for those aged 23 and over which is set by the Government.
Those between school age and 22 will get some variation of the minimum wage depending on their age bracket.
Households on the National Living Wage currently receive £9.50 per hour but this is set to rise to £10.42.
Even with this hike, this is still below the Real Living Wage which is being increasingly used by employers.
Katherine Chapman, the director of the Living Wage Foundation, shared why businesses should adopt this wage model.
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Ms Chapman said: “Our research demonstrates the reality that millions of women in the UK – often cleaners, catering staff and care workers – are more likely to be trapped in low-paying, insecure and precarious jobs.
“This year’s International Women’s Day 2023 is focused on equity – the sticky floor of low pay and precarious work is holding women back, true equity needs to start with a real Living Wage.
“It has been heartening to see record levels of employers signing up the real Living Wage and Living Hours in this past year.
“We’re encouraging all businesses who can to join our network of 12,000 Living Wage employers.”
Corin Bell, the director of Open Kitchen Manchester, outlined why her enterprise has taken on the Real Living Wage.
She explained: “The hospitality industry is historically known as a sector with low wages, unpaid overtime, unpredictable hours, and hardworking conditions.
“We’re determined to show that it can be a positive and progressive sector, and that hospitality can be a rewarding career, and not just a part time job for younger people.
“We’re a proud Living Wage employer, ensuring we look after the amazing people who choose to work with us as the cost of living goes up.”