Categories Work

Action urged to improve Living Wage


The National Living Wage should be raised to 60% of median earnings by 2020 and extended to all those aged over 18, according to campaigners.

Shopworkers’ trade union Usdaw recently met with the Low Pay Commission to hear evidence from low-paid workers in Birmingham. The city has 36,000 minimum wage workers, the highest number of any city outside London according to the Commission.

Usdaw, which has over 430,000 members, has called on the Low Pay Commission to continue with increases that will take the National Living Wage to the target 60% of median earnings by 2020.

The union also wants the National Living Wage to be paid from the age of 18. Currently it only covers workers aged 25 and over, which means that almost a third of retail staff are excluded from it.

Paddy Lillis, Usdaw General Secretary, said:

While the cost of living is rising sharply, wage growth has been sluggish. The minimum wage needs to increase significantly to address the squeeze on living standards and Usdaw continues to campaign for £10 per hour.

Usdaw is also extremely concerned about the pay gap for young workers.

For many young workers, being denied the so-called National Living Wage pay rate reinforces the already desperate position that they are experiencing. They work just as hard as their older colleagues and have many of the same responsibilities outside of work, such as housing costs, transport costs and bringing up families.

The public can share their low pay stories with Usdaw on Twitter @UsdawUnion and find out more about the campaign by visiting