Postgraduate study

Shaping the foundations for the National Living Wage

Research by the Centre for Research in Social Policy has been used successfully as a tool for calculating the national Living Wage.

Shaping the foundations for the National Living Wage

Professor Donald Hirsch is the Director of the Centre for Research in Social Policy (CRSP), based in the Department of Social Sciences at Loughborough University. Together with a team of researchers, Professor Hirsch led a major piece of work which aimed to address the Minimum Income Standard. Using real people and genuine experiences, Professor Hirsch’s team sought to identify minimum household needs, from food and housing to the types of opportunities and choices life offers them.

With the support of the newly formed Living Wage Foundation, the Centre’s research and findings became the basis for Living Wage calculations and the rise of the Living Wage Employer. Living Wage Employers now include the Scottish Government, The Church of England, John Lewis and Ikea, as well as a number of large local authorities and universities.

The research has already proven to have an impact globally, as other countries start to replicate the idea and make steps towards improving the lives of individuals and communities.

Some people ask me if I’m the founding father of the UK Living Wage. I have to say that’s not quite true. It started before me. I can’t take credit for inventing it – but I have helped to shape it. I’ve helped to make it work, and I am proud of that.

Professor Hirsch