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Cambridge City Council

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Living Wage

The Real Living Wage enables a person to have a minimum acceptable standard of living with less reliance on benefits, and is calculated annually according to the cost of living in the UK.

The Real Living Wage is currently £9.90 per hour.

Watch a video about the Real Living Wage in Cambridge

Living Wage Week 2021 took place from 15 to 21 November. During the week we hosted an online event for businesses, discussing how they can help tackle poverty and inequality in the city.

Cambridge City Council pays the Real Living Wage to all directly employed staff, as well as to agency workers. We also commit to paying the Real Living Wage to all contracted staff engaged through our procurement processes. In November 2014 the city council received official accreditation from the Living Wage Foundation.

We are now working to encourage and support other businesses in Cambridge to become accredited Real Living Wage employers. 

There are now around 75 accredited Real Living Wage employers in Cambridge.

Case study: Abbeyfield care provider supports the Real Living Wage.

Benefits of the Real Living Wage

We believe that the Real Living Wage is:

Good for business

  • Reduction in staff turnover and sickness rates
  • Less absenteeism
  • Improved staff morale and productivity
  • Better retention of staff
  • Recruitment of committed staff
  • Reputation as an ethical employer

Good for the worker

  • Workers are able to provide properly for themselves and their family
  • They are less reliant on benefits
  • They don’t have to work excessive hours
  • They have more time for their family

Good for Cambridge

  • More money is spent locally
  • Cambridge has a high-quality, better paid workforce

Get help with becoming a Real Living Wage employer

Are you based in Cambridge? Are you interested in becoming a Real Living Wage employer?

Our Equality and Anti-poverty Officer can:

  • answer your general queries about the Real Living Wage
  • identify particular benefits accreditation might have for your business
  • support you in applying for accreditation
  • help you to work through the implications of applying the Real Living Wage to contracted and subcontracted staff

National Living Wage

In April 2016 the government introduced a higher statutory minimum wage rate for all staff over 25 years of age called the ‘national living wage’. In 2021, this was lowered to over-23 year olds.

The government intends the higher minimum wage rate for over-23s to reach 66% of median earnings by 2024. Current estimates suggest this would mean a rise to £10.50 per hour by 2024.

The government’s minimum wage rate is separate to the Real Living Wage rate calculated by the Living Wage Foundation. The Real Living Wage is independently calculated according to the cost of living – what people need for an acceptable, basic standard of living. It’s a rate that employers choose to pay voluntarily to go beyond the statutory minimum.

The Real Living Wage is currently £9.90 per hour across the UK and £11.05 in London.

Guidance for employees

Do you have questions on how your change in income will impact on your benefits? Do you want support in budgeting? Do you have problems with your pay? If you would like help with any of these questions, contact Cambridge and District Citizens Advice Bureau. Phone 03448 487979 between 2 and 4pm, Monday to Friday.

Real Living Wage employers in the Greater Cambridge area

There are around 90 organisations who are based or operate in the Greater Cambridge area that are accredited Real Living wage employers.

You can see all accredited employers in Cambridge on the Living Wage Foundation’s employer map.