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More than six in ten low-wage workers believe that receiving the real living wage would improve their situation Mental healththe research has revealed.

The survey of 1,702 adults who work full-time but earn less than real livelihoodconducted by the Living Wage Foundation and market research agency Survation also found that the same proportion (63%) believed their family life would improve.

The real living wage is currently set at £9.90 an hour across the UK except in London where it is £11.05. It is paid voluntarily by nearly 9,000 UK employers.

Meanwhile, statutory minimum wages are set at £8.36 for workers aged 21 or 22 and £8.91 for workers aged 23 and over.

Survation survey results include 38% of respondents falling behind on basic household bills, up from 29% in December 2020.

More than a quarter (28%) of those earning below the real living wage admitted they will not be able to keep their homes warm this winter, up from 20% in 2020, according to the survey. More than a third (37 %) of those in Wales and 31% of those in Northern England gave this answer.

One in five (23%) has defaulted on rent or mortgage payments, and 17% have been forced to take out payday loans to cover necessities. More than a quarter (28%) of Londoners admitted to being behind on their rent or mortgage payments and 21% had a payday loan for essentials.

In addition, 42% of women reported being behind on household bills, compared to 35% of men, and 29% of female respondents were unable to heat their home, compared to 26% of men.

Women also reported feeling more anxious than men, with 50% finding their anxiety low wage negative impact on their mental health compared to 38% of men.

Katherine Chapman, director of the Living Wage Foundation, explained that as many face mounting financial insecurity, the real living wage offers a crucial lifeline for workers as they secure their finances with a cost-of-living wage.

“There is no better way for companies to protect and reward their employees than to join over 9,000 living wage employers to ensure everyone who works for them, including the people who have kept us going during the pandemic like cleaners and security guards, deserve that wage,” she said.