Andy Bagnall, director at KPMG UK, comments on the new Living Wage* rates announced today by the Living Wage Foundation and the Greater London Authority.
“Today’s announcement will see a significant number of employees that work for a Living Wage accredited business get a pay rise. The increase of just over four percent in London (£9.75 to £10.20) and three percent nationally (£8.45 to £8.75) may seem like small change to some, but for many it’ll make a huge difference to their lives, helping escape in-work poverty.
“The reality is that those at the bottom of the pay scale are really feeling the squeeze due to increases in the cost of living and decline in real pay. Paying a Living Wage will save huge swathes of people being unable to afford the basics they need.
“As employers we can take active steps to address this, by paying the real Living Wage. This also delivers real and tangible business benefits. In our own firm it has improved staff morale and driven a rise in service standards, improved the retention of staff and increased our productivity.
“It may not be possible or practical for everyone, but all organisations need to do what they can to address the problem of low pay. Of course, change cannot happen instantly, but making an initial assessment is an important first step.”