Care staff that work for real living wage employers across the country are set for a pay rise as rates increase per hour to £9 around the UK, and £10.55 in London.

They have had their rate increased by 35p an hour in the capital and 25p across the rest of the country, with the rise largely driven by higher transport costs, private rents and council tax.

Homecare provider Penrose Care in Hampstead, London, signed up to the real living wage agreement in 2012. It employs 22 homecare workers and was one of the first in the sector to sign up to the deal.

Robert Stephenson-Padron, managing director, told CM: ‘A company that exploits workers is not caring; full stop. We have an ethical labour framework. The results have seen lower staff turnover and fewer sickness.’

He added that pay in the sector was ‘horrendous’.

Research by accountancy firm KPMG has found that over a fifth of jobs in the country pay less than the real living wage, with 1.2 million more roles paying below the wage since 2012.

The Living Wage Foundation is calling on all major employers to help tackle the problem of low pay by committing to go beyond the government minimum and pay a wage their staff can really live on. The National Living Wage for workers aged over 25 is £7.83.

More than 1,200 employers have signed up to pay the real living wage in the last year, joining more than 4,700 employers across the UK.

Tess Lanning, Living Wage Foundation director, said: ‘Employers that pay the real living wage enable their workers to live a life of dignity, supporting them to pay off debts and meet the pressures of rising bills.’