What is a Living Wage
It is a wage which makes possible a minimum acceptable standard of living. It is evidence based and grounded in social consensus. It is:
- based on the concept that work should provide an adequate income to enable individuals to afford a socially acceptable standard of living
- the average gross salary which will enable full time employed adults (without dependents) across Ireland to afford a socially acceptable standard of living
- a living wage which provides for needs not wants
- an evidence based rate of pay which is grounded in social consensus and is derived from Consensual Budget Standards research which establishes the cost of a Minimum Essential Standard of Living in Ireland today
- unlike the National Minimum Wage which is not based on the cost of living.
In principle, a living wage is intended to establish an hourly wage rate that should provide employees with sufficient income to achieve an agreed acceptable minimum standard of living. In that sense it is an income floor; representing a figure which allows employees afford the essentials of life. Earnings below the living wage suggest employees are forced to do without certain essentials so they can make ends-meet.