Hundreds of MoD employees are on less than living wage

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More than 1,000 people employed directly by the Ministry of Defence in unskilled roles are paid less than the living wage, new figures show.

Some 39 members of staff based in the capital take home less than the London living wage (£9.15 per hour) and 1,159 across the rest of the UK less than the national living wage (£7.85).

The numbers came to light in the response to a written parliamentary question asked by Frank Field, the new work and pensions select committee chairman.

An MoD spokeswoman confirmed a ‘relatively small number’ of civilian staff fall below the threshold, ‘the majority of whom are in unskilled roles’.

She added: ‘Due to the nature of the MoD’s work, we employ a significant number of unskilled workers compared to other government departments.’

The jobs include driving, general maintenance, manning doors, checking passes and operating machines.

In contrast, most other government departments do pay their directly employed staff the living wage, with the exception of apprentices and temporary staff in some cases.