One in five British workers are paid less than the living wage, a study showed today.
Some 4.82 million UK workers receive less than the living wage, the rate of pay designed to enable workers to afford a basic standard of living, the KPMG research showed.
The rate is currently £8.30 an hour in London and £7.20 in the rest of the country, compared with the national minimum wage rate of £6.19 an hour.
The living wage is a voluntary rate of pay that some employers give their staff and since 2001 it has positively impacted more than 10,000 employees and their families and redistributed over £96m to some of the lowest paid workers in the UK, KPMG said.
But ahead of next week's Living Wage Week, the study showed that a sizeable proportion of the country's workers are paid less than this rate.
Commenting on the study, TUC general secretary designate Frances O'Grady said: "It is shocking that in this day and age one in five workers is still earning less than is needed to maintain a decent standard of living.
"The living wage is not a luxury and means that low-paid workers don't have to make tough choices over whether they can afford the everyday things that most of us take for granted, such as their fuel bill or a winter coat for their children.
Many more employers could afford to adopt the living wage and we hope that many more decide to pay it in the coming months. Now more than ever is the time for employers to put an end to poverty pay."