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Celebrating the Real Living Wage

Celebrating the Real Living Wage

This week we're celebrating 'Living Wage Week' and today saw the announcement of the new real Living Wage rates, reflecting the steep rise in living costs. The real Living Wage is the only rate based on an actual calculation of the wage workers and their families need to get by, considering the weekly shop, energy bills, school uniform and childcare, even things like the dentist. 

The new Living Wage rates and the ‘National Living Wage’ - know the difference 

Unlike the Government minimum wage (‘National Living Wage’ for over 23s - £8.91 rising to £9.50 in April) the real Living Wage is the only wage rate independently calculated based on rising living costs – including fuel, energy, rent and food. A full-time worker earning the new, real Living Wage would earn £1,930 a year more than a worker earning the current government minimum (NLW). For a worker today that’s the equivalent of 7 months of food bills and more than 5 months' rent based on average household spending in the UK. Even on next April’s higher NLW rate of £9.50, a full-time worker on the real Living Wage would earn £780 more. 

The increase in Living Wage rates this year has largely been driven by rising fuel and rent costs.

Green&Blue team outside the workshop holding a plaque that shows they are certified real living wage employers

At Green&Blue we are committed to doing the best we can both by our people and our planet. Our work is team work and therefore we believe strongly in making sure everyone is rewarded for the work they do. We signed up to be a Living Wage employer in 2019 and are proud of our commitment to this. 

Cornwall is a beautiful place and a destination for many but behind the picture postcard beaches over three quarters of neighbourhoods in Cornwall are more deprived than the national average according to statistics, our stunning county is actually among the 50 poorest regions in the whole of Europe.

This makes it super important to us that we make this commitment to our team and to our county and we urge other companies to do the same. We live in a world where people have become a commodity and it's time we shifted this thinking and put our people firmly at the heart of everything we do. 

Katherine Chapman, Living Wage Foundation Director, said: 

“With living costs rising so rapidly, today’s new Living Wage rates will provide hundreds of thousands of workers and their families with greater security and stability.  

For the past 20 years the Living Wage movement has shaped the debate on low pay, showing what is possible when responsible employers step up and provide a wage that delivers dignity. Despite this, there are still millions trapped in working poverty, struggling to keep their heads above water – and these are people working in jobs that kept society going during the pandemic like social care workers and cleaners. We know that the Living Wage is good for businesses as well as workers, and as we rebuild our economy post pandemic, the real Living Wage must be at its heart.” 

Living Wage Week, from 15-21 November 2021, is a UK-wide celebration of the almost 9,000 employers that have voluntarily committed to ensure employees and sub-contracted staff earn a real Living Wage. This includes half of the FTSE 100 and major household names such as Everton FC, Aviva, Burberry, and Nationwide.  

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