Almost 400,000 workers will get a pay boost from today after increases to the voluntary Real Living Wage were brought forward.
The hourly rates are rising by £1, from £9.90 to £10.90 across the UK, and by 90p, from £11.05 to £11.95 in London.
New Real Living Wage rates are usually announced in November but were increased earlier than usual due to the cost of living crisis.
The Real Living Wage is currently paid by more than 11,000 employers and is accredited by the Living Wage Foundation.
It based on what a full-time worker and their family needs to make ends meet, including costs of food, clothing and household bills.
The rate is payable to everyone over the age of 18 – with 390,000 people eligible for it – and is updated every year.
It is separate – and higher – than the current National Living Wage, which is currently £9.50 for someone aged 23 and over.
The National Living Wage is £9.18 for someone aged 21 to 22 and £6.83 for those aged 18 to 20.
How to tell if your company pays the “Real Living Wage”
Some of the big name employers paying the “Real Living Wage” include:
Everton Football Club
Royal Albert Hall
There are also now 39 “Living Hours” employers, including Aviva and West Bromwich Building Society, who guaranteed minimum of 16 hours work a week and a month’s notice of shift patterns.
Katherine Chapman, Living Wage Foundation director, said: “With living costs rising so rapidly, millions are facing an awful ‘heat or eat’ choice this winter – that’s why a real living wage is more vital than ever.
“Today’s new rates will provide hundreds of thousands of workers and their families with greater security and stability during these incredibly difficult times.
“We are facing unprecedented challenges with the cost-of-living crisis, but businesses continue to step up and support workers by signing up to the Living Wage in record numbers.
“We know that the Living Wage is good for employers as well as workers, that’s why the real living wage must continue to be at the heart of solutions to tackle the cost-of-living crisis.”
Unison general secretary Christina McAnea said: “Low-paid workers are crying out for help.
“The Government must follow the foundation’s lead and bring forward an increase to the national minimum wage without delay. Waiting until April would be foolish.
“Ensuring everyone is paid at least £15 an hour would be a lifeline for millions barely coping with eyewatering household costs.
“Rather than boosting bankers’ bonuses, the Government should concentrate on those feeling genuine financial pain.”
GMB official Rachel Harrison said: “The fact tens of thousands of NHS workers, school staff, local government workers and care staff aren’t even paid a living wage should be a badge of national shame.
“What kind of society do we want to live in? Do we want to make sure those who look after us can feed their children and keep a roof over their head?
“Or do we want to let already wealthy bankers enjoy uncontrolled bonuses in some vague bid to ‘boost the city’?”