Firms urged to pay real living wage as women’s concern rising

Tess Lanning

A third of women earning below the voluntary living wage have no savings and most worry about their finances, a new survey reveals.

Research among 1,000 female workers found that two out of five have more than £500 of debt, with one in four spending over £100 a month servicing their debt.

The Living Wage Foundation and the Fawcett Society said their findings revealed that three out of five working women have enough savings to last a month if they lost their job.

Tess Lanning, director of the Foundation, which sets the voluntary living wage, said: “The precariousness of life for women earning little more than the government minimum shows the need for more employers to take a stand by paying the real living wage based on what people need. Our research shows debt and financial insecurity is widespread for low-paid women, with many struggling to save for a rainy day.”

Jemima Olchawski, of the Fawcett Society, said: “Women are much more likely to be in low paid work. Often that might be because they need flexibility or part-time work to meet caring responsibilities that they just can’t find in better paid roles. “Employers can help lift their staff out of poverty and close the gender gap by paying the real living wage.”

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