Research & Reports

The links and documents below is a collection of reports and research into low pay and the Living Wage.

If you would like to suggest something to add to this page please get in touch:


What's Our Story? In-Work Poverty: Stories from South London Women (29.01.16)

This is a report on a participatory research project carried out in London, focussing on women's experience of in-work poverty. Also includes discussion around alternative economic models.

Extending The Scottish Living Wage Through Procurement: Updated (18.11.15)

UNISON Scotland's briefing paper on how contracted who deliver public services can be required to pay the Living Wage.

How Many Jobs Are Paid Less Than The Living Wage In Your Area (10.15)

Office for National Statistics research into low pay in the UK.

A Minimum Income Standard for the UK: 2015

JRF's annual update of what members of the public think people need to achieve a socially acceptable standard of living in 2015.

The Economic Impact of an £1.50/hour increase in the National Minimum Wage (09.14)

A report for Unite the Union into the impact of increasing wages to £7.81, including the impact on public finances and the micro and macro-economic implications.

Living Wage Research for KPMG (10.14)

Structural Analysis of Hourly Wages and Current Trends in Household Finances.

Round the Clock: In-Work Poverty & the Hours Question (04.15)

This report explores the third of these factors asking how many hours is it reasonable to expect parents to work. Through polling with a cross-section of the population, focus groups with parents and interviews with employers, the research sets out to identify assumptions about hours of parental employment that inform both policy and practice.

Taxpayers Subsidise Big Business by an Estimated £11 Billion a Year (12.04.15)

A new report by Citizens UK highlights just how much the UK taxpayer subsidises the low-pay culture within our biggest retailers.

The Economic Impact of Increasing the NMW by £1.50 (09.14)

This report by Unite the Union looks at the potential impact of increasing the NMW.

Poverty & Employment Transitions in the UK & EU, 2007 - 2012 (10.03.15)

This article provides analysis on people in income poverty and the effect that moving from unemployment to employment has on their poverty status. 70% of those leaving in-work poverty did so as a result of an increase in thier hourly rate. We believe this proves the importance of the Living Wage in tackling in work poverty in Scotland.

Households Below A Minimum Income Standard: 2008/9 - 2012/13 (19.01.15)

This JRF paper examines changes in the adequacy of household incomes between 2008/09 and 2012/13, looks at who is most likely to lack the income needed for an adequate standard of living, analyses the numbers and characteristics of those falling above and below the minimum income standard.

The Price of Everything & The Value of Wages (22.10.14)

UNISON Scotland investigate the realities of falling public sector pay.

"Dishing the Dirt": A UNISON Scotland Survey of Cleaners in Public Services (27.08.14)

UNISON Scotland has been surveying cleaning staff in areas where they organise to get a picture of how they are faring in the era of cuts and austerity.

The Changing Labour Market 2: Women, Low Pay and Gender Equality in the Emerging Recovery’ (20.08.14) 

This research report from the Fawcett Society shows that women have been largely excluded from the recent economic recovery, especially those on low pay. In addition, there are now almost double the numbers of women working in low paid, low status, insecure roles than before the 2008 recession.

The Invisible Workforce: Employment Practices in the Cleaning Sector (13.08.14)

The Equality & Human Rights Commission find firms are failing to protect the very basic rights of cleaning staff in the UK. Underpayment, lack of dignity and respect and denial of employment rights are some of the major findings of the report.

Poverty & Social Exclusion in the UK Conference (19-20.06.14)

Conference materials from the recent 3rd Peter Townsend Memorial Conference, including a Scotland specific presentation from Nick Bailey, Glen Bramley and Maria Gannon

"What Would the Neighbours Say?" How Inequality Means the UK is Poorer Than We Think (16.06.14)

"Most people think our living standards in the UK are similar to economies like France and Germany, but being poor in the UK is more like being poor in the former Soviet Bloc than in Western Europe."

The poorest fifth of the UK population are significantly worse off than the poorest fifth in other Western European countries, according to analysis of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) data published by the High Pay Centre think-tank.

Minimum Wage Workers Report Confirms Poverty Pay is Pricing People out of the Economy

This report from Unite the Union shows that minimum wage workers are effectively priced out of the market place, with 1 in 3 unable to shop where they work. 8 in 10 workers wants to be paid a Living Wage so they do not have to rely on state benefits, and 1 in 3 said they had the skills and experience needed for a better paid role, but that nothing was available.

"The UK's Low-Paid, Insecure Labour Market is Failing Single Parents"

A report from GIngerbread, "Paying the Price", has found that the low wage economy means that a job in itself is now not enough for single parents to maintain basic living standards. .

Sumi Rabindrakumar from Gingerbread has also written an excellent blog to acompany the report. She argues that the government must act now to tackle low pay and job insecurity. To read the blog click here.

Number of Staff in Scottish Local Authorities earning less than £7.20

The Scottish Living Wage Campaign submitted freedom of information requests to all Scottish localauthorities asking for details of numbers earning less than £7.20 per hour (the then living wage threshold). Across the 32 local authorities 7% of directly employed staff were earning less than £7.20 per hour, although this proportion varied across local authorities from 0% to 15%. To see the full results click here.

A Minimum Income Standard for the UK

JRF's annual update, based on what members of the public think people need to achieve a socially acceptable standard of living.

Over time, changes in prices alter the cost of a minimum standard of living, and changes in social norms will change the 'minimum' that is required. This study considers both of these elements, and updates the budgets to this year. More>

Scottish Government Inquiry into a Living Wage in Scotland (01/12/11)

This 2011 inquiry considered issues relating to the benefits of a living wage for individuals, families and communities; the introduction of a living wage by local authorities; and the extent to which procurement can include criteria linked to the payment of a living wage.