The Big Bloomers Company is proud to be a fully accredited Living Wage Employer! 😃
The Real Living Wage is the only rate calculated according to what people need to make ends meet. It’s set independently and updated annually, and provides a voluntary benchmark for employers that choose to take a stand by ensuring their staff earn a wage that meets the rising costs they face in their everyday lives.
In committing to this we’ve joined a community of over 14,000 responsible UK businesses who believe a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay.
A big thank you to our lovely team for their hard work 🙏🏼
Here's a bit of background...
The movement for a Real Living Wage began over 20 years ago in East London. Workers were struggling to make ends meet, despite working a full-time job. Many were working in Canary Wharf and found that, despite working long hours as cleaners, caterers, and security guards, the minimum wage simply wasn’t enough to provide them with a decent life for themselves and their families.
Together with Citizens UK, the campaigners called for a ‘Real Living Wage’. This would be more than the minimum wage and it would be actually calculated based on what it costs to live. It would mean that everyone earning the Real Living Wage would be able to live a dignified life.
They won! HSBC became the first to accredit and 10 years later, the Living Wage Foundation was set up to oversee the wage calculation and accredit employers that commit to paying this new, higher wage rate. Today there are over 14,000 Living Wage employers, committed to always paying their staff the Real Living Wage.
How is it different to the minimum wage (now called the ‘National Living Wage’ for those over 23s)?
It is important to know the difference between the Real Living Wage and the government’s minimum wage (now called the National Living Wage). The National Living Wage is currently £10.42.
1. The Real Living Wage is based on the cost of living. It’s the only wage rate calculated based on the cost of living (needs-based) whereas the National Living Wage is based on a target to reach two-thirds of median earnings (wage based). The Real Living Wage is currently £12.
2. The Real Living Wage is independently calculated and overseen by the Living Wage Commission, and the new rate is announced in Autumn every year.
3. The Real Living Wage applies to all workers 18 and over compared to the National Living Wage, which applies to those over 23 only.
4. The Real Living Wage is voluntary, employers choose to do it because it’s the right thing to do. Employers have to pay the National Living Wage by law because it is the legal minimum wage.
5. Unlike the National Living Wage, the Real Living Wage has a higher rate for those living in London to reflect the higher cost of living in the capital.
How is the Real Living Wage calculated?
The Real Living Wage is calculated annually by the Resolution Foundation, using a robust methodology and based on the best available data. The process is overseen by the Living Wage Commission which includes civil society representatives, Living Wage employers and the TUC. The calculation process is outlined below:
1. The calculation uses a “basket of goods and services” determined by members of the public need for a “minimum acceptable standard of living” for different household types (known as the Minimum Income Standard calculated by the Centre for Research in Social Policy at Loughborough University). For example, this includes food, rent, clothes, mobile phones, broadband as well as little extras like a birthday treat.
2. The basket is priced up with items that differ significantly in London priced separately (housing, travel, childcare, council tax).
3. The hourly Living Wage rates are calculated by taking a weighted average of the earnings needed for a range of family types taking into account tax and benefits.
Currently none of our team here at Big Bloomers ARE on that minimum Living Wage rate, they all earn more as they’ve progressed and grown with us, but it’s what we use as a base to work up from, instead of the standard government minimum.
Key Facts and Figures
- The Real Living Wage is calculated annually. All Living Wage employers are committed to giving their staff – including all contracted staff – a pay rise to the new rates every year.
- The Living Wage movement has put over £2 billion back into the pockets of low paid workers since it began over 20 years ago by Citizens UK in East London (£338m in extra wages to the lowest-paid workers since January this year).
Thanks for reading! Want to know more? Get in touch with the Living Wage Foundation.