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One in five UK workers paid less than the living wage

One in five workers in the UK are paid less than the living wage, research from KPMG has shown. The report, ‘Living Wage Research for KPMG’, looks at the extent of sub-living wage employment and the effect it has on those low paid workers. The national minimum wage is currently £6.19 an hour, whereas the living wage is £7.20 an hour outside London, and £8.30 an hour inside London. The living wage is a rate which enables workers to afford a basic standard of living.

Northern Ireland has the highest proportion of people earning below the living wage, followed by Wales. But London, the north west and the south east have the highest number of people earning below the living wage. Proportionally, 90 per cent of bar staff are paid below the living wage. While sales and retail assistants have the highest number of workers paid below the living wage – 780,000.

Marianne Fallon, Head of Corporate Affairs at KPMG, said ‘that the improved motivation and performance, and the lower leaver and absentee rate amongst staff in receipt of a living wage means that the cost is offset and paying it is the right thing for our business.’

The research is published ahead of Living Wage Week (4-10 November) when new rates for London and the rest of the country will be announced. Please see the full report on the KPMG website.