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Why do we pay the real Living Wage?

We pay all our employees the real Living Wage. But what does that actually mean, and why is it important to us?

What is the real Living Wage?

The real Living Wage is a voluntary minimum hourly rate designed to cover the average person’s living costs. Over 14,000 organisations are committed to paying their employees the real Living Wage. 22% of people in the UK live in low-income households (below the real Living Wage), and we are passionate about playing our part in seeing that figure come down.

How is this different from the National Living Wage?

The National Living Wage (NLW) is the legally mandated minimum hourly rate that a person over the age of 23 must be paid in the UK. This rate is based on a percentage of the median UK salary. The NLW is currently £10.42 (£11.44 from 1st April 2024), which is about 63% of the median income. Although this is officially above the poverty line, it is not based on actual living costs or the actual composition of UK households. For example, the Child Poverty Action Group states that 70% of children living in poverty in the UK have at least one parent in paid work.

The real Living Wage is determined by an independent commission that considers the actual costs of the goods and services required to provide a minimum acceptable standard of living – food, rent, childcare, school uniform and so on. Then an appropriate hourly rate is calculated (currently £12.00), taking into consideration the current tax and welfare systems, as well as different household types. The rate is higher in London (currently £13.15) to reflect the elevated cost of living, particularly in terms of housing, compared with the rest of the UK.

The NLW is significantly less than the real Living Wage. For 2023, the average UK citizen living outside London and working 30 hours a week who was paid the NLW would have earned £2,465 below the minimum income required for an acceptable standard of living as determined by the Living Wage Commission. A survey into households below the average income showed that in 2022, there were 9.5 million people in the UK whose weekly pay was below the poverty line.

Why does Jubilee Events pay a real Living Wage?

At Jubilee Events, we are committed to paying all our employees the real Living Wage, in line with our vision to see lives transformed through supportive employment. According to the National minimum wage statistics, 45% of all jobs paying at or below the minimum wage are in retail, hospitality, cleaning, and maintenance occupations. As our business is within the most vulnerable sector of the workforce, paying a real Living Wage significantly benefits our employees’ lives. 

It is obviously positive for our teams, but what about Jubilee Events? Can a business succeed while paying its employees more? Our experience has been an emphatic “yes”! Businesses that voluntarily champion the real Living Wage truly can outperform those that might begrudgingly pay the NLW. Of the thousands of real Living Wage employers, over 94% say that their business has benefitted from being accredited with the Living Wage Foundation. Our people are at the heart of all we do, and we find that our staff are more invested in the success of our businesses because they can see that we care about them and want them to be paid a proper wage.  

As a business in the local economy, it is our responsibility to positively contribute to the community. Jubilee Events supports the community by employing people who have faced multiple barriers to work, helping them to transform their lives and providing purpose, dignity and hope for the future.

If you are interested in partnering with us for your event, we’d love to hear from you. And if you are an employer yourself, you might like to read about even more benefits of becoming registered with the Living Wage Foundation.


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