What is the real Living Wage?

The real Living Wage is an hourly rate set independently and updated annually. It is calculated by the Resolution Foundation and overseen by the Living Wage Commission, based on the best available evidence about living standards. It is based on detailed research of what households need in order to have a minimum acceptable standard of living.

The real Living Wage is set annually by the Living Wage Foundation and is announced during Living Wage Week each November, for implementation within six months. The real Living Wage is distinct from the so-called ‘national living wage’ for all workers aged 23 and over, which was introduced by the Government in April 2016.

Employers choose to pay the real Living Wage on a voluntary basis and can become accredited by the Living Wage Foundation.

Why pay the real Living Wage?

In Salford, we think that paying the real Living Wage is good for society. People should be paid fairly for the work that they do, and be paid a wage on which they can live reasonably.

We also think that paying the real Living Wage is good for business. Across all the available evidence, three main areas in which paying the real Living Wage can have a significant beneficial impact are evident: productivity; ease of recruitment; and staff retention.

Read a case study about the difference paying the Living Wage has made to local employer Anchor Removals.

The real Living Wage in Salford

Salford has been working together to spread the real Living Wage since 2014. As part of its effort to tackle poverty in the City, Salford is committed to champion the wider adoption of the real Living Wage.

Salix Homes became the first accredited Living Wage Employer in Greater Manchester in June 2012. Since then, the number of accredited Living Wage employers has steadily increased across the public, private and voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sectors.

At November 2022, there were 97 accredited Living Wage employers whose main base was within the City of Salford, and at least another 22 with branches or operations in Salford. These include many of the major employers in the public, private and voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sectors.

Salford CVS is also a Living Wage funder. It is committed to tackle low pay by encouraging the organisations it supports to pay staff the real Living Wage.

Salford – the first city in England recognised for its Living Wage ambition!

Salford was the first place in England to get formal recognition for its ambition to become a Living Wage City. The Living Wage Foundation recognised our city under its Living Wage Places scheme on 11 November, 2019.

The aim is to work together to tackle low pay within localities by expanding Living Wage employer accreditation. This work is being driven by our Salford Living Wage City action group, which is a partnership of accredited Living Wage employers from all sectors, together with both community champions and trade union organisations.

In its first three years from 2019 to 2022, Salford exceeded the targets that it set in its original action plan for Making Salford a Living Wage City:

Complementing the Salford Way towards a fairer, greener and healthier Salford, Salford produced an action plan for Making Salford a Living Wage City for 2022 to 2025. Its key aims are to:

  1. Engage local people in the Living Wage movement.
  2. Maintain existing accreditations.
  3. Target notable and iconic employers, especially in the private sector.
  4. Engage funders and commissioners to include the real Living Wage in their criteria.
  5. Promote Living Hours and Living Hours accreditation.
  6. Collaborate with other Living Wage places to mutual benefit.

This includes Salford’s contribution towards Making Greater Manchester a Living Wage city-region.

Building on Salford’s 10% Better campaign, our main targets for 2025 are:






If you want to support the Living Wage campaign in Salford, please contact Alison Burnett –  alison.burnett@salford.gov.uk