Four out of five low-paid workers say the cost-of-living crisis is the worst financial period they have ever faced, new research suggests.
More than half of 2,000 workers surveyed by the Living Wage Foundation said they have used a food bank over the past year, with many paying more visits in recent months.
The foundation said almost half of low-paid workers now regularly skip meals and nearly a third are unable to heat their homes due to financial reasons.
Research has shown that almost a quarter of all workers have had to take out a payday loan to cover essentials, said the report.
Living Wage Foundation director Katherine Chapman said: “Everyone is feeling the pressure from soaring inflation, but our polling shows that low-paid workers are being hit harder than most, with well over half using food banks in the last 12 months.
“These shocking findings bring to life what it’s like to be paid less than a Real Living Wage during a cost-of-living-crisis. It’s more important than ever that those employers who can, step up and provide a wage based on the cost of living, joining over 11,000 Living Wage employers across the UK.”
The Living Wage Foundation will next week announce new rates for the voluntary Real Living Wage, which is higher than the statutory minimum.
The current rates set by the foundation are £11.05 an hour in London and £9.90 outside the capital, compared with the statutory adult rate of £9.50.