Only 13 of the UK’s top 100 charities sign up to real living wage campaign 

06 Nov 2017 News

Just 13 of the 100 charities which feature in the haysmacintyre / Charity Finance 100 Index have signed up to the Living Wage Foundation’s accreditation scheme, a Civil Society analysis has shown.

This week is Living Wage Week, and an increase in the real living wage has just been announced by the foundation.

There has only been a slight increase in the number of very large charities to have achieved accreditation over the last three years. In 2014, when Civil Society News last investigated, there were nine charities from the 100 Index which had been accredited. 

One third of FTSE 100 companies have already been accredited by the Living Wage Foundation. 

Oxfam, Save the Children are WWF are among those who have already signed up. A full list appears below. 

Rate increase

The Living Wage Foundation, which is an initiative of Citizens UK, began calculating the real living wage - the amount you need to earn to live above the poverty line - in 2011. In 2016 it set up a commission made up of employers, civil society leaders, trade union experts and more to oversee how the rate is calculated. It also coordinates campaign activity for Living Wage Week during the beginning of November each year. 

Today it announced that the real living wage rate for £8.75 per hour, an increase of 30p per hour and in London it is £10.20 per hour, an increase of 45p per hour. 

In April 2016 the government introduced a mandatory "living wage" for employees over 25. This is below the real living wage as defined by the Living Wage Foundation.  

Who pays it?

So far over 3,500 employers are signed up to the scheme, including around 1,174 organisations that have been classified as third sector. The costs of accreditation are based on the size and type of organisation but starts at £60. 

The national headquarters for three charities with a federated structure, Citizens Advice, Age UK and Mencap, are not signed up, but some of their local branches are. 

The large charities which are accredited are:

  1. Oxfam
  2. Save the Children
  3. Wellcome Trust
  4. Girls’ Day School Trust
  5. Macmillan Cancer Support
  6. Christian Aid
  7. General Medical Council
  8. Consumers’ Association (Which?) 
  9. United Kingdom Committee for Unicef
  10. VSO
  11. Plan International UK
  12. ActionAid
  13. WWF-UK

The haysmacintyre / Charity Finance index is based on three-year average income and its current constituents have incomes of between £58m and £710m. The combined workforce of the index is over 200,000. 

Editor's note: This article initially listed Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital Charity as an accredited real living wage employer. It has been updated because the hospital is accredited, but the charity is not, although a spokeswoman said that all staff for the charity do earn the London living wage. 


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