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One in five workers paid less than voluntary living wage

Many working people do not earn the voluntary living wage. Credit: PA

One in five working people are being paid less than the voluntary living wage, according to new figures.

More than five million people - 22% of the workforce in the UK - are earning less than £8.25 per hour, or £9.40 in London, research by Markit for KPMG suggests.

The number of people being paid below the living wage has risen by mroe than a million in just four years, but this year's figures do not differ too much from last year's, the analysis found.

It also found that those earning less than the living wage expected worsening finances in the next year.

The research also found that people earning less than the living wage expected worsening financial well-being in the next year.

Simon Collins, senior partner and UK chairman of KPMG, said: "The reality is that more than five million working people in the UK are only earning enough to 'get by' and cannot enjoy the standard of life so many of us take for granted.

"Previously, many businesses worried that increased wages hit their bottom line, but there is ample evidence to suggest the opposite.

"By paying the Living Wage we have seen improved staff morale, a rise in service standards, improved retention of staff and increased productivity.

"It is clear that it may not be possible or practical for everyone, but all organisations need to do what they can to address the problem of low pay. Of course, change cannot happen instantly, but making an initial assessment is an important first step."

The voluntary living wage is figured out annually and is based on the cost of living in the UK