On 31st October, Sharon attended the Living Wage Foundation’s reception and pledged to encourage local businesses to become living wage employers.
The real living wage, which is calculated annually by the Resolution Foundation and overseen by the Living Wage Commission, is £8.45 across the UK and £9.75 in London.
Unlike the national minimum wage, the real living wage is calculated according to the cost of living.
The real living wage is a voluntary scheme, but there are 3,592 accredited living wage employers nationally, including well known household brands such as Nationwide, British Gas and Nestle.
In Washington and Sunderland West, 12% of workers earn less than the real living wage. This means that they are paid much less than necessary to keep up with the ever increasing cost of living.
Currently, 26.1% of children in Washington and Sunderland West are growing up in poverty. Paying employees, the real living wage could help lift working families out of poverty.
Following the event, Sharon said:
“In-work poverty and poor pay are becoming ever-more endemic in our society. This is why I am a supporter of the real living wage. It is important that employers recognise the benefits of paying the real living wage, not only for their employees but also for their business and wider society. That is why I support the Living Wag Foundation’s campaign to ensure that employees get a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work and have pledged to encourage as many businesses in the constituency as possible to become living wage employers.”