New Hourly “Living Wage” Pay Rates

Head Office Circular No. NP/179/17

To the Secretary, all Branches and Regional Councils
Monday 6 November 2017

Dear Colleagues

New Hourly “Living Wage” Pay Rates –
Living Wage Foundation Calculates Increases of Around 4% Needed

The National Minimum Wage is - for over 21 year olds - £7.05 per hour. The National Living Wage (NLW) - for over 25 year olds - is £7.50 per hour. (The NLW is amended each April).

The Living Wage - different from the government’s NLW - is an influential rate set by a panel of experts convened by the Living Wage Foundation. Employers often apply it voluntarily/ by agreement (ie it is not a rate which is enforceable under statute).

Today it was announced that the UK (exc London) Living Wage is increasing from £8.45 to £8.75 – a rise of 3.6%. The London Living Wage is increasing from £9.75 to £10.20 – a rise of 4.6%.

The real/ personalised rate that an individual/ couple need to earn per hour to meet their household living costs, obviously depends on a variety of factors such as the number of hours they work and their housing costs. However, assuming an average number of hours worked and average outgoings, the following sets out the difference that family size makes, to what constitutes an individual’s/ couple’s true living wage:

 living wage graphic1

Significant regional disparity in terms of the distribution of low paid work, is projected to persist. Specifically, the proportion of people who are low paid in 2020, is expected to continue to be at its highest in many of the areas of the UK outside of London and the South of England:

living wage graphic2

 Yours sincerely,


Mick Cash
General Secretary