The living wage has been something of a hot topic in recent months and this is unlikely to change as the election race heats up. For those of you who don’t know, the living wage is the amount of money an adult person needs to earn in order to cover the cost of living.
Currently the calculated living wage is £7.85 an hour, and £9.15 an hour in London. The minimum wage for an adult in the UK is £6.50, rising to £6.70 in October. The reason why the living wage has become such a contentious issue is down to the cost of living rising higher than wage inflation. This has led to many awareness groups being set up to force through changes in the minimum wage.
While many parties are offering to subsidise paying the living wage should they win the election many employers are already beginning to start paying it themselves. Some employers have also come under scrutiny for not paying the living wage. Premier league football clubs who pay top players hundreds of thousands of pounds a week received heavy criticism for paying other staff the minimum wage. As such many have now agreed to pay the minimum wage and all will do so by 2016.
Regardless of the outcome of the election the living wage is an issue your employees may raise with you and it is possible the minimum wage will rise to similar level in the near future.