Life was hard for the working class at the beginning of the 20th century. In 1900 surveys showed that between 15% and 20% of the population were living at subsistence (bare survival) level. Worse between 8% and 10% of the population were living below subsistence level.
In 1908 an act limited miners to working an 8 hour day.
In 1909 the Trade Boards Act set up trade boards who fixed minimum wages in certain very low paid trades. Also in 1909 an Act set up labour exchanges to help the unemployed find work.
In 1908 an Old Age Pensions Act gave small pensions to people over 70. The pensions were hardly generous but they were a start. From 1925 pensions were paid to men over 65 and women over 60. Widows were also given pensions. www.localhistories.org/welfare