How Will the Real Living Wage Increase in the UK Impact Hairdressers?

by charlottegw / last updated November 9, 2020

real living wage hairdressers
The real living wage rates for 2020-21 have been announced as £9.50 in the UK, rising by 20p, and £10.85 in London, an increase of 10p – but how will it affect hairdressers?

The real living wage is separate from the statutory National Minimum Wage (which you can read about here) and National Living Wage, and is set by the Living Wage Foundation, not the government. In fact, employers pay it voluntarily.

The rate is 78p per hour more than the government minimum wage (for over 25s) and the London Living Wage is £2.13 per hour higher. A full-time worker paid the new £9.50 real living wage will receive over £1,500 in additional wages annually compared to the current government minimum. For a full-time worker in London this figure rises to over £4,000.

In regards to the impact on the hairdressing industry Keith Conniford, registrar of the Hair and Barber Counicil says: “Whilst The Hair and Barber Council welcome any increase in the real living wage, we have to consider that employers will struggle with this increase given the months they have been forced to close, with no income during these periods, whilst their fixed costs in many cases have remained the same.

“The Government should be supporting these increases and supporting the industry financially, as they are doing with the hospitality sector, and not solely relying on employers to foot an ever-increasing bill with ever-decreasing income levels through no fault of their own.”

Laura Gardiner, Living Wage Foundation director, said: “It’s an incredibly challenging time for us all, but today’s new living wage rates will give a boost to hundreds of thousands of UK workers, including thousands of key and essential workers like cleaners, care workers, and delivery drivers who have kept our economy going.

“Since the start of the pandemic employers have continued to sign up to a real living wage. During Living Wage Week it’s right that we celebrate those employers that have done right by workers and families, providing them with much needed security and stability even when times are hard. These are the employers that will allow us to recover and rebuild from this crisis.”

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