The Living Wage

The Living Wage is an hourly rate set independently and updated annually.  It's calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK and is currently £8.45 an hour.


The Living Wage is different to the National Living Wage (NLW), which is set by the Government. Legally, people can't be paid under it. The NLW for those 25 and over is currently £7.50 an hour.

People that benefit

The Living Wage applies to all our workers, regardless of their age.

If you work directly for us and you earn under £8.45 an hour, that's grades 1, 2, 3, 4 and the bottom pay point of grade 5, then you will be paid the Living Wage of £8.45 an hour as an allowance.

Apprentices will continue to be paid the National Minimum Wage for their age.

Most of our cleaners, school catering assistants, school crossing patrol staff, some of our caretakers and some administrative staff benefit from the Living Wage − around 4,000 employees.

Schools are encouraged to pay the Living Wage to their employees, but this is a decision for each governing body.

Paying the Living Wage is voluntary

We choose to pay it because we believe it is the right thing to do. We want to make sure that our lowest paid staff can live on the money they earn. It's good for business, good for the individual and good for society.

Many private sector companies are also now paying their employees the Living Wage together with a large number of councils across the country.

Even though we're facing huge budget cuts, paying employees the Living Wage will only add 0.5% to our wage bill so this will not mean job cuts. Even so, we will have to decide each year if we are able to continue paying the Living Wage.

Effects to benefits, tax and national insurance

If you receive any benefits or Working Families Tax Credits you will need to inform the relevant authorities that you have had a pay rise. You will also pay slightly more national insurance and tax.

Payment of the Living Wage

The Living Wage allowance will be paid on your contract hours and any additional hours up to 37 hours per week. However, it won't be paid on enhanced hours or overtime. The Living Wage will be shown separately on your payslip as an allowance.

The National Minimum Wage (NMW) rates (opens in a new window) are set by the Government and are legally enforceable. The NMW and new National Living Wage (NLW) hourly rates for 2017/2018 are:

  • £4.05 for under 18s
  • £5.60 for those aged 18-20
  • £7.05 for those aged 21-24
  • £7.50 for those aged 25 and over
  • apprentices are paid the NMW for their age.