The Living Wage campaign is an independent movement of businesses, organisations and people who believe a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay. Employers choose to pay the real Living Wage on a voluntary basis – it provides an ethical benchmark for responsible pay.

The campaign for a Living Wage was launched by members of London Citizens in 2001. Parents in East London found that despite working two, or more, minimum wage jobs they were struggling to make ends meet, and were left with no time for community and family life. It is an example of how civil society, businesses and organisations can work together to tackle in-work poverty. It enjoys cross party support, with public backing from successive Metropolitan Mayors and MPs across the UK, including First Ministers in Wales and Scotland.


  • The real Living Wage is independently calculated based on what employees and their families need to live
  • This is why it’s higher than the government minimum wage, rebranded as the ‘National Living Wage’
  • Employers voluntarily choose to pay it – changing people’s lives right now. Recognised Service Providers champion it one contract at a time. with their clients
  • It applies to all workers over 18 – recognising that young people have the same living costs as everyone else


  • 93% of university graduates want to work for a Living Wage Employer
  • 93% of the Living Wage network say it has benefitted their business
  • 93% of consumers agreed that pay should reflect living costs
  • 86% of the Living Wage network reported an increase in staff motivation


The campaign for a real Living Wage has now delivered more than £1 billion in extra wages to workers since it began in 2001, and it has lifted over 200,000 people out of in-work poverty.