The Living Wage campaign was first launched in 2001 by London Citizens (now known as Citizens UK) in response to the National Minimum Wage being considered too low for people to live on.

Members found that despite working two minimum wage jobs, they were struggling to make ends meet and were left with little time for family and community life. They felt that wages should reflect the true cost of living.

Following a series of successful Living Wage campaigns, the Greater London Authority created the Living Wage Unit in 2005 to calculate the London Living Wage. An increasing number of employers decided to pay the Living Wage in London and people around the UK started to take an interest. Local campaigns emerged and the Centre for Research in Social Policy (CRSP), funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, began calculating a UK wide Minimum Income Standard (MIS).

The MIS aims to define an adequate income, based on what members of the public think is enough money to live on to maintain a socially-acceptable quality of life. The figures generated are used to calculate the Living Wage outside of London.

In 2011 Citizens UK launched the Living Wage Foundation and Living Wage Employer mark. Since 2001 the campaign has impacted tens of thousands of employees and put over £210 million into the pockets of some of the lowest paid workers in the UK.

For more information on the Living Wage Foundation click here.