Citizens UK Challenges Companies to Commit to the ‘Real Living Wage’

As an introduction to the ‘Real Living Wage’ week, beginning Monday the 5th of November, Citizens UK has called upon University of Leeds to join the movement of companies that pay the ‘real Living Wage’.

“Today we are asking our Vice Chancellor, Sir Alan Langlands, to meet with the Living Wage Foundation within the next six weeks to develop an action plan for the University of Leeds to sign up as a Living Wage Employer. We look forward to hearing from him and are hopeful of working with the University Executive Group to make the Living Wage a reality at the University of Leeds.” – Citizens UK.

This ‘real Living Wage’ is based on how much each family needs to both sustain itself and be a part of society. It differentiates between London and the rest of the UK. Outside of London it is calculated to be £9/hour, whereas in London, which has a higher living cost, it is calculated to be £10.55/hour. Compared to that of National Living Wage, the real Living Wage is more than £1 higher outside London and £2.70 higher for those that live in London.

This movement primarily aims to target companies who pay low salaries. These are jobs that have little competition for the work, meaning that the salary is often stagnate and does not rise as prices gets higher with inflation.

At present, one fifth of the UK population is working for less than the real Living Wage.

Citizens UK argue that companies that are giving their employees this extra pay are seeing higher productivity and happier and healthier staff, along with having a better reputation in their communities.

The real Living Wage is calculated based on how much different types of families need to cover their expenses, which is then weighted according to how big each of these groups are. The lowest needed income is found for couples with no children, needing a hourly pay of £6, while the highest needed income is found for singles with 3 children, needing an hourly pay of £18.40 (both of these figures are for groups outside of London).

The calculations do not differentiate between those that live in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland or any other specific area that might have any influence on the local Living Cost.

According to the the salary scale that the University have officially released, their lowest pay grade is £15,842 a year for 2018-2019. They consider a full time work week on fixed hours, 35 hours per week. If we base our calculation on the basis of people having 52 work weeks a year with 35 hours of work per week, this makes a pay of £8.70/hour on the lowest pay grade.

Whether these pay grades take outsourced work into consideration is not clear.

Laus D. Jørgensen

Image: [Pixabay]