United Kingdom


  • Service: Insights
  • Type: Business and industry issue
  • Date: 03/11/2014
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The Living Wage 

Kitchen staff

The Living Wage is a voluntary rate of pay which is based on the recognition that the national minimum wage (currently £6.50) does not pay enough for people to meet a basic quality of life.  
New Living Wage rates have been announced of £9.15 in London (up from £8.80) and £7.85 nationally (up from £7.65). These new rates come at the start of a week of activity designed to celebrate the Living Wage and encourage more employers to sign up.


Why should more companies pay the Living Wage?


Businesses need to do what they can for the welfare of their staff.  The minimum wage simply does not pay enough for families, in particular, to live on. 


The problem of in-work poverty has been highlighted by the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission (PDF 1.78 MB) recently.  KPMG’s own research, just published, has found that the number of people earning less than the Living Wage has grown by over 147,000 in the last year to some 5.28 million people.


KPMG has also found that the Living Wage simply makes good business sense.  Since introducing the Living Wage for its staff in 2006, KPMG has found that the extra wage costs are more than met by lowered recruitment churn and absenteeism, greater loyalty, and higher morale leading to better performance. 


Turnover amongst KPMG’s contracted cleaning staff has more than halved since paying the Living Wage.


Over 1000 organisations are now accredited Living Wage employers.  They gain accreditation through the Living Wage Foundation which is run by the charity Citizens UK.

What is happening in Living Wage Week?


There will be a host of events during the week of 3rd November to promote, celebrate and inform on paying a Living Wage:


  • This will include the announcement of a new London Living Wage rate by Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, on Monday 4th November. 
  • Living Wage employers and supporters will be holding events throughout the week to promote the benefits and rationale for signing up.





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Living Wage research for KPMG 2014 report

Read our Living Wage research (PDF 1.17 MB)


New research, conducted by Markit for KPMG, estimates that there are now 5.28 million people being paid less than the Living Wage – 22% of the working population.  One third of them worry that their household finances will deteriorate over the next 12 months.