Living Wage rate up by 20p an hour – An opportunity for small businesses?

The UK voluntary living wage is rising to £8.45 and £9.25 for workers in London. Should your business join the 3,000 companies signed up for the scheme?

It was announced this morning that the UK voluntary living wage, promoted by the Living Wage foundation, is to rise by 20p an hour to £8.45 from its current rate of £8.25 an hour.

For workers in London, the rate will raise by 35p to £9.75 an hour.

The voluntary pay rate scheme- seperate from the government’s obligatory National Living Wage of £7.20 an hour which was introduced in April 2016 – has already been adopted by 3,000 businesses including the British Library, IKEA and EDF.

Some experts have suggested that, despite the financial burden, small businesses can benefit positively from signing up to the voluntary living wage and can improve their hiring processes.

Alison Dodd, managing director at Moorepay, says the real living wage presents an opportunity for small firms:

“Many small and medium businesses might be sceptical to voluntarily increase the salaries of their bottom line but signing up to initiatives like the real  iving wage can actually positively impact the whole business by increasing staff productivity and supporting the hiring process.

“Particularly at a time when the UK is facing a skills shortage, it is essential for small and medium firms to demonstrate that they are committed to providing a positive working environment and a generous benefits package if they want to attract employees with the right skills to take their business forward. This is especially important in locations that are more expensive to live in, such as London.”

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