At least a third of parents in work are often skipping meals because they struggle to afford enough food for their families.
Over one in three working parents also cannot afford to have regular meals, according to research by the Living Wage Foundation.
The survey of 1,000 adults found two out of five of them had fallen behind on household bills while a similar number top up their monthly income with a credit card or loan.
Half of them said they had borrowed money from a friend or relative and almost one in three walk to work to save on travel costs.
In London, the real living wage stands at £10.20 an hour and £8.75 outside the capital. This is much higher than the government’s so-called national living wage of £7.83 for those over the age of 25.
Living Wage Foundation director Tess Lanning said: “These findings reveal the desperate choices low-paid families have to make and show why it’s so important that more employers take a stand by paying the real living wage, based on what they need to live, not just the government minimum.”
Pat Harrington, general secretary of Solidarity said: "In-work poverty is a big problem as these findings prove. We should raise the minimum wage (or national living wage as it was wrongly rebranded by the Tories) but only trade union organisation and collective bargaining will raise standards for workers."
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Nobody should be forced to skip meals because of poverty pay and no business model should depend on its workers running on empty.
“The government must raise the minimum wage to £10 an hour as quickly as possible so that millions more workers get a wage they can live on.”
You can join the Solidarity Union here: https://pay.gocardless.com/AL0000QAEF8DYK