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Published on October 29th, 2012 | by Dean Carr

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90% of bar staff paid less than the Living Wage

A new report has concluded that 90% of bar staff and 85% of waiters/waitresses are paid less than the UK Living Wage. The research, commissioned by KPMG, has particular significance for the hospitality sector, which is clearly identified as the most underpaid for basic staff positions.

Industry Analysis

The proportion of workers paid less than the Living Wage:

Bar staff – 90% (by number, this accounts for 160,000 bar staff)

Waiters/waitresses – 85%

Kitchen and catering assistants – 75%

Cleaners, domestics – 70%

Read the full KPMG report.

The published figures compare poorly to the national average for the United Kingdom. Around one in five workers in the UK is paid less than required for a basic standard of living.

Commenting on the findings, Marianne Fallon, Head of Corporate Affairs at KPMG, said: “This research really lays bare the extent of the problem of low pay in Britain. Times are difficult for many people, but of course those on the lowest pay are suffering the most. Paying a Living Wage makes a huge difference to the individuals and their families and yet does not actually cost an employer much more. At KPMG, we have found that the improved motivation and performance, and the lower leaver and absentee rate amongst staff in receipt of a Living Wage means that the cost is offset and paying it is the right thing for our business.

The Living Wage

The Living Wage is an hourly rate of pay set calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK. The UK Living Wage is calculated annually by the Centre for Research in Social Policy. The London Living Wage is calculated by the Greater London Authority. Employers choose to pay the Living Wage on a voluntary basis and on doing so can apply for Living Wage accreditation.

The rate stands at £8.30 an hour in London and £7.20 in the rest of the UK. The National Minimum Wage, a mandatory figure by law, is set at £6.19 an hour for those aged 21 and over.

Rhys Moore, director of the Living Wage Foundation, said: “Paying a Living Wage makes a huge difference to the quality of life of thousands of cleaners, caterers and security staff across the country. It is really encouraging to see nearly 100 organisations now signed up and accredited. But that still leaves many more organisations that aren’t. We hope that Living Wage Week will create real momentum and that many more employers will sign up.”

Visit the Living Wage website.

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About the Author

Dean Carr

Dean has been involved in alcohol licensing for over 20 years and has helped many independent retailers and corporate clients obtain a licence to sell alcohol or offer late night refreshment, regulated entertainment from all sorts of premises. Dean writes articles for various trade related blogs and is currently Managing Director of the PLT group of companies who run APLH and SCPLH personal alcohol licence courses nationwide. You can contact Dean or a member of his expert licensing team on: 01242 222 188



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