Research conducted by accountancy firm, KPMG, has revealed that a fifth of UK workers are paid less than the living wage.
They have reported that around 4.82 million earn less than the voluntary living wage, which has been set at £8.30 for London and £7.20 elsewhere. The living wage has been calculated as being that which would enable workers to afford a basic standard of living.
Northern Ireland and Wales were found to have the highest proportion of people who were earning below the living wage. However, in terms of numbers, the greatest number of people receiving less than the living wage lived in London, the North-West and the South-East.
“Times are difficult for many people, but of course those on the lowest pay are suffering the most,” said Marianne Fallon, head of corporate affairs at KPMG, which has itself signed up to pay the living wage.
“Paying a living wage makes a huge difference to the individuals and their families and yet does not actually cost an employer much more.
“Tackling in-work poverty is also vital if we are to enable more people to improve their life prospects and increase social mobility in this country.”
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