What's a good wage?

How much do we earn, and is it enough? Here we explore the difference between the National Minimum Wage and the Living Wage.

The National Living Wage currently stands at £8.91. Since its introduction, the National Living Wage has been dogged by criticism that it is still too low. So much so that an alternative, higher Living Wage is promoted by independent think tank Resolution Foundation – one that we at OneFamily have pledged to pay our workers.

What is the National Minimum Wage?

The National Living Wage is really the National Minimum Wage under another name. The legal minimum an employer is permitted to pay its employees.

The minimum wage operates as a sliding scale depending on your age. Once you reach 25, the National Living Wage kicks in.

Under 18 18-20 21-22 23+
£4.62 £6.56 £8.36 £8.91

The concept of a ‘living wage’ is that it’s more than the bare minimum needed to survive. It’s the least you need to achieve what is generally considered to be a decent standard of living.

Why do 18-22 year olds not quality for a living wage? Because many are still supported by their parents at this age. And most have fewer responsibilities, meaning they need less money. That’s the theory, anyway.

What is the Living Wage?

The Living Wage is a voluntary minimum distinct from the government National Living Wage. It’s calculated annually by the Resolution Foundation. Currently it stands at £9.50 outside of London and £10.85 in London – acknowledging the higher cost of living associated with living in the capital.

Who supports the Living Wage?

Unlike the National Living Wage, which is compulsory by law, the Living Wage is voluntary. But support is growing.

Over a third of FTSE100 companies are committed to paying the Living Wage, along with nearly 5,000 employers across the country. Big name supporters include IKEA, ITV, Chelsea FC, British Gas, Lloyds, RBS and us.

So…what’s a good wage?

Which brings us back to the question we started with: what’s a good wage? The answer is… it’s complicated. The Living Wage at least establishes a minimum for living, rather than surviving. And that’s the least you should expect.

We’re committed to paying a good wage. Find out more about working for OneFamily.