Figures have shown that more than one in four workers in Derbyshire earns less than they need to get by.
Estimates from the Office for National Statistics have revealed that around 69,000 employees across the county were being paid less than the real living wage as of April this year – or 27 per cent of all workers.
It means they were earning less than £8.45 an hour – the amount identified by the Living Wage Foundation as what’s really needed to get by, based on the actual cost of living.
In comparison, the Government’s living wage was set at £7.20 an hour for over 25s, although both that and the real living wage have since risen, to £7.50 and £8.75 an hour respectively but the situation in Derbyshire is worse than the national picture.
The government’s living wage was set at £7.20 an hour for over 25s
Across the UK, nearly six million people were earning less than the real living wage as of April – 22 per cent of employees however, some parts of our county have much higher rates of low pay than others.
Around 37 per cent of employees are being paid less than the real living wage in North East Derbyshire, or around 8,000 workers.
And 31 per cent of employees in High Peak are earning less than they need to get by, or again around 8,000 people.
Derby has the lowest proportion of workers in this situation in the county, with 20 per cent of employees paid less than £8.45 an hour which translates to around 23,000 workers.
20 per cent of employees in Derby are paid less than £8.45 an hour which translates to around 23,000 workers
Across the county, women are much more likely than men to earn less than the real living wage, with 35 per cent of female employees taking home less than £8.45 an hour, compared to 20 per cent of men.
However, that’s likely due to the fact that women are much more likely to work part time compared to men – only 12 per cent of full time workers in Derbyshire were paid less than the real living wage, compared to 43 per cent of part time workers.
Responding to the figures, Katherine Chapman, Director of the Living Wage Foundation, said: “Too many people are struggling to get by day-to-day, with rising costs and stagnating wages putting enormous pressure on family finances.
“Over 5.5million people across the UK – one in five workers – are still paid less than the real Living Wage.
“By paying the real Living Wage employers are putting fairness and respect at the heart of their business and over 3,700 employers across the UK have now made the Living Wage commitment. We’d like to see many more follow suit.
“Great businesses know that, even during these tough times, not only is fair pay the right thing to do but it also brings real business benefits – nine out of ten accredited Living Wage employers report real benefits including improved retention, reputation, recruitment and staff motivation.”
Source: Derby Telegraph