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Not to be confused with the compulsory National Living Wage (NLW), the Real Living Wage is voluntarily paid by nearly 9,000 UK businesses and is based on calculations of the cost of living covering everyday needs.

These are carried out by the Living Wage Foundation which has just made its annual announcement of the rates to be paid in 2021/22 by accredited employers - £11.05 an hour for London and £9.90 an hour for the rest of the UK.

Accredited employers should implement the rise as soon as possible and within 6 months. All employees of accredited employers should receive the new rate by 15 May 2022. 

The Living Wage Foundation says almost 300,000 employees have received a pay rise as a result of the Living Wage campaign and the Foundation enjoys cross-party support. It has a broad range of employers accredited with the Foundation including half of the FTSE 100 and big household names including Nationwide, Google, Brewdog, Everton FC and Chelsea FC. 

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.” 

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